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Senior Little-Leaguers were ‘terrific’

Middlesex made a strong showing at the recent Senior Little League State Tournament (ages 15-16) at Pound in southwestern Virginia.

After losing its first game 6-2, the Middlesex squad bounced back to win three straight before being eliminated by Grottoes 2-0.

Middlesex finished an impressive fourth among 16 teams in the tournament.

Grottoes went on to shut out Dumphries-Triangle-Quantico to advance to the championship game, which was won by Mechanicsville, 10-7.

“We’re real proud of our team,” said Middlesex manager Jerry Crittenden. “We accomplished a lot for small rural team. Some of the (all-star) teams had 150 kids to choose from.”

An opposing coach asked Crittenden how many players he had to choose from, and he answered, “They’re all here.”

Crittenden noted that Mechanicsville selected its team from three Group AAA high schools. “Mechanicsville looked strong throughout the whole tournament,” he said.

Middlesex did not get a chance to play Mechanicsville.

Crittenden said he was “very proud to finish fourth” in the state. “The boys did a super job. We appreciate everyone’s help and support. We had a good following that came to Pound.”

The Middlesex players could form the foundation for more winning seasons. “I look forward to the next couple of years to see what this group of boys can do,” Crittenden said.

Middlesex coach Chuck Walsh agreed with Crittenden. “The boys played terrific baseball. We had 12 outstanding players. who gave 110 percent,” he said.

Walsh now has coached five Middlesex teams in Little League state tournaments. “I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it,” he said. “I’m passionate about the players and about the games. It was great to see our boys play the game like it should be played.”

Walsh praised the support given the team by parents and fans at the tournament. “The support was just great, even though it took seven hours to get there. It’s very important for the boys to see that the community is behind them.”

He thanked his wife Carol for keeping the scorebook during the tournament and Laura Bristow for keeping the pitch count. He also added that he thought Crittenden did “a terrific job” managing the Middlesex team.

posted 07.29.2009

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