National All-Stars win, 9-1

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 30, 2002

On the strength of home runs by Travis Stoner and Taylor Milinazzo, the Benn-ett’s Creek National (BCN) All-Stars of the 11-12 league opened their All-Star tournament by defeating Olive Branch 9-1 on Saturday afternoon. Andy Topping recorded eight strikeouts in the win.

After Topping and Sam Serafine got on base in the first inning, Stoner smoked Chris Dover’s first pitch over the left-centerfield fence for his fifth home run of the season.

&uot;I knew it was gone, and I just started trotting!&uot; said the John Yeates Middle School student. &uot;We’re going to kick butt in this tournament!&uot;

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They continued to do so in the second inning. With two outs, Zach Lamb drew a walk, and Serafine reached on an error. Berry drove Lamb in with a single to centerfield, and doubled by Topping and Stoner scored two more runs, extending BCN’s lead to 6-0.

Olive Branch got on the board in the third inning, as Chad O’Connor scored on a sacrifice fly by Dover. But Berry singled with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning, bringing Cameron Cousins in to get to 7-1.

Topping shut Olive Branch down in the fourth, and O’Connor came in to pitch. Stoner and Milinazzo gave him a true Bennettt’s Creek welcome, as Stoner knocked his first pitch into centerfield for a single and Milinazzo blasted a shot over the fence two pitches later. It was Milinazzo’s first home run of the season.

&uot;I just went up and swung and hoped it went over,&uot; said Milinazzo. &uot;I didn’t think it was going over at first, but when I saw the outfielder running toward the fence, I knew it was gone.&uot;

The BCN defense didn’t let Oliver Branch threaten for the remainder of the game. Dover smashed a double into center field in the sixth, but Berry and Topping teamed to catch him in a rundown between second and third.

&uot;I had a good defense,&uot; Topping said. &uot;I think I did OK, but not as good as I wanted to. I got nervous when they had runners on, but other than that, I was pretty smooth.&uot;

In the 9-10 league, the Bennett’s Creek American (BCA) All-Stars defeated Cavalier Manor 10-0 in five innings. Joshua Todd pitched the entire game for BCA, striking out nine and allowing just one hit.