The Haverhill Gazette
---- — Riverside Bradford’s 9-year-old Summer District Cal Ripken team won two tournaments this summer, while demonstrating an all-around effort with solid pitching, strong offense and solid defense.
The squad won the Cal Ripken District 2 Championship by defeating Shedd Park (of Lowell) 13-1, Chelmsford Lupien 5-1, Dracut 22-2, and Chelmsford Fitts 10-5.
The team advanced to the Cal Ripken Eastern Massachusetts State Tournament held in Quincy. The team went to the tournament’s semi-finals, going 3-1 in pool play before losing to Plymouth (the eventual champion) 20-13. In the state tournament, the team defeated South Weymouth 12-2, Winchester 16-6 and Norton 7-4, but lost to Westford 4-3.
In addition, the squad won the 2013 River Rivals Summer Tournament recently held in West Newbury. The team was 7-0-1 in the tournament, defeating Amesbury 17-2, West Newbury 14-2, Newburyport 8-4, and Seabrook 9-2. The team tied Georgetown 3-3 in a seven-inning game. In the playoffs, the team beat Amesbury 10-0, then defeated Byfield-Newbury 5-2 in the semi-finals and Newburyport 3-0 in the finals.
Coach Derek Davoli has been coaching many of his players since they were in T-ball.
“They’re all best friends and they’ve become a family,” he said.
“For the summer, the boys were an amazing 18-3-1, having been the runner-up in the Salem (N.H.) tourney as well,” Davoli said. “It was a terrific achievement for these kids.”
The Eastern Massachusetts Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth Baseball is comprised of more than 65 programs and more than 8,000 players in Eastern Massachusetts. Eastern Mass is the largest Cal Ripken program in New England and ranks in the top five nationally. The program’s goal is to provide a safe and rewarding experience to all players from ages 5 through 12.