AUBURN — Crystal Spring Water climbed from a No. 3 seed in the Auburn Suburban Babe Ruth playoffs to capture the league championship. 

In the first round, Crystal got by No. 2 East Auburn, 7-5.

The Waterboys took advantage of some early walks and a big two-out, two-run single by Brian Bonenfant in the second inning off relieiver Nate Poussard to jump out to a 6-1 lead.

Poussard then limited Crystal to one run the rest of the game, allowing only one hit while striking out 10.

Crystal got three strong innings from starter Evan Raymond, who allowed only one run on two hits. Kyle Karkos pitched an inning of middle relief before giving way to Michael Hammond, who limited East Auburn’s rally in the fifth to three runs and then pitched strong sixth and seventh innings to preserve the win.

Hammond was the lone repeat hitter for Crystal. Brandon Knapp and Poussard each collected a pair of hits for East Auburn.

Crystal then went on to play No. 11 seed 99 Restaurant in the championship game and came away with a 4-2 win.

Ninety-Nine edged Dead River, 11-10, in the semifinals.

Evan Raymond turned in another strong pitching performance, giving up only five hits and two runs over four innings. Corey Henderson started for 99 on the mound and kept Crystal in check over the first 5 innings, not allowing a hit while striking out 11 over that span.

Crystal finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth. Michael Hammond led off with a walk and stole second and third. Drew Lashua then walked and stole second to give Crystal two runners in scoring position.

Hammond scored on a wild pitch to make the score 2-1. After a strikeout and a another walk, Kyle Romero hit a slow roller to short, but the throw home was to late and Lashua scored the tying run.

Zach Hurd then hit a sacrifice fly to plate the go-ahead a run. The insurance tally scored on a wild pitch.

Hammond pitched three shutout innings of relief and was helped by some great defense. Noah Pelletier made a terrific diving catch in left field. Hammond also got himself out of a jam by starting a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded in the fifth.


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