Vipers show some bite in tourney
The 10U North Coast Vipers fared well in early season tournament play finishing second in the Puritas Early Bird Tournament and fourth in the Ohio Bombers Mid-May Classic. The Vipers team is made up of players from four different communities.
Ben Bliss (Wellington), Aidan Grabowski (Avon Lake), and Alex Harrington (Avon Lake) led the Vipers at the plate at Puritas Early Bird Tournament. Bliss was 7 for 12 for the tourney with a pair of doubles and a triple including going 3 for 4 in the championship game.
The Vipers fell to the Pittsburgh Diamond Dawgs in the title game, 8-7. Grabowski also went 3 for 4 in the championship and 7 for 10 overall. Harrington banged out a pair of triples, a double, and a home run and went 6 for 10 in the tourney.
Vipers pitching and defense were solid throughout the Puritas Early Bird with the pitching staff combining for two no-hitters and a one-hitter in the first three games. Vipers pitchers struck out 31 batters in four games with Bliss accounting for 12 Ks. The pitching staff was led by Bliss, Kevin Pincura (Avon Lake), Michael Weber (Sheffield), Peyton Wilson (New London), and Chris Jackson (Elyria).
The Vipers finished fourth of 11 teams in the Ohio Bombers Mid-May Classic losing in the semi-final game to the North Coast Red Devils (Black). Bliss, Wilson, Grabowski, Harrington, and Gip Conroy (North Olmsted) were solid at the plate with each batting .500 or better in the tourney. Wilson collected a pair of doubles and a pair of triples in going 5 for 10 at the plate.
The Vipers swept a double header from the Ohio Elite, Sunday in Wellington.
Bliss hit a home run in the top of the final inning to lead the Vipers to a comeback 15-14 win. Bliss’s homer brought the Vipers within one. Gip Conroy (North Olmsted) followed with a single and stole second. Aidan Grabowski’s (Avon Lake) single scored Conroy and tied the game. Grabowski stole home for his second time in the game for the go-ahead run. The Vipers came back from a 12-3 deficit.
Kevin Pincura (Avon Lake) closed the game on the mound for the Vipers. With one out and a runner on first, catcher Bliss called for a pitch out and gunned down the runner attempting to steal second. Pincura struck out the next batter for the win.
The Vipers won the first game 26-8. On the day, Bliss was 8 for 9 with 3 doubles, a triple, and a home run. Jared Krukowski (Avon Lake) went 4 for 6. Grabowski was 4 for 8 with a double and Conroy and Alex Harrington (Avon Lake) both went 3 for 6, each with a triple.
The Vipers will play in Wellington again this weekend in the Memorial Day Tournament.