Concord 8-10 All-Stars continue strong start in District II tourney

  • Concord All-Stars pitcher Henry Thresher celebrates with Luke Bedard after he scored the second run against Rye at Grappone Park on Tuesday evening, July 2, 2019. Concord went on to win 10-0. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord All-Stars coaches high-five and low-five players during introductions at Grappone Park in Concord on Tuesday evening, July 2, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord All-Stars pitcher Henry Thresher beats the tag by Rye pitcher Goyette at home plate during the first inning at Grappone Park in Concord on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 7/2/2019 10:09:52 PM

The Concord Little League 8-10 All-Star team has its eyes set on a District II championship. To reach that ultimate prize, the coaching staff knows it will take contributions across the entire roster, from the nine players returning after last year’s semifinal run to the four new additions to the squad.

It’s all about the 13 kids inside that dugout.

“The veteran kids from last year have taken (the younger kids) in with open arms and that’s all I want to see,” Concord head coach Ricky Gaudreault said. “I think that’s huge when you go and try to make a run at something like districts like we want to. It’s about team and getting these guys focused. Not the individual stuff, but as a team.”

Practicing what it preaches, Concord continued its strong start in the 8-10 District II Tournament Tuesday evening. Using a patient offensive approach and a combined no-hitter from the duo of Henry Thresher and Jack Sheppard, Concord knocked off the all-stars from Rye, 10-0, in five innings at Grappone Park.

The victory is the second in as many games for Concord, which defeated Suncook, 6-2, to open the tournament on Saturday.

“Just a good team effort from everybody,” Gaudreault said. “Everybody did something. It wasn’t a whole lot of fireworks, but it was nice to see some of the (younger) guys get some hits and playing time.”

Concord starter Thresher proved to be untouchable over four innings, holding Rye out of the hit column and striking out seven. Sheppard entered in the top half of the fifth, recorded two putouts himself and needed just eight pitches to work a 1-2-3 frame.

And run support was never an issue.

Concord loaded the bases in each of the first two innings, taking advantage of 10 walks to take an early 6-0 lead.

Cam Burbank, who Gaudreault said “will tear up the base paths if he gets on,” did exactly that to ignite Concord’s offense. After drawing a leadoff walk, Burbank stole second, eventually moved to third and timed his sprint for home plate perfectly when the catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher after a walk to Thresher.

“Any time we get on base, we’re going to take advantage of every little mistake they make,” Gaudreault said. “Whether it be a bad throw, not paying attention to the runners. ... We try to do the small things.”

Lucas Golden helped add on with RBI singles in each of his first two plate appearances and Concord’s offense stayed hot, scoring in every inning except the fourth.

Burbank and Koltan Gaudreault highlighted the third-inning scoring. Burbank doubled to drive in Caden Bechtold, who kicked off the inning with a double of his own, and Koltan Gaudreault’s RBI single scored Burbank to up Concord’s lead to 8-0.

Sheppard and Bryce Gervais both produced run-scoring hits in the fifth to end the contest.

“I thought they were very disciplined. They didn’t swing at a lot of bad pitches, just a very disciplined approach at the plate,” coach Gaudreault said. “It was just a good team win.”

Concord continues its tournament with a visit to Somersworth on Friday. First pitch is slated for 5:45 p.m. The top four teams after eight games will advance to the semifinals on July 20 before the District II championship is played on July 21.

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

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