AUBURN, Mass. - The Auburn Little League 10-year-old Jimmy Fund Tournament Team had quite the playoff run last week, but the team came up short in the District 5 Championship game Saturday.
After winning its quarterfinal game against Grafton 2-0 and beating Shrewsbury American 11-0 in the semifinals, Auburn faced Shrewsbury National on Saturday for the District 5 Championship. Unfortunately for Auburn, the title game in North Oxford did not go the team’s way, as Shrewsbury National won 5-2.
Despite the loss, Auburn coach Dave Picard said the tournament was a positive experience for all the players, coaches and parents.
“Everybody had a great time,” Picard said. “This is a really talented group, and they’ve played exceptionally well. It’s hard to single any of them out because everybody contributed. It was a real team effort. They played great offensively, defensively and pitched great.”
Picard said the team played well in the championship game, but it was “just one of those nights.”
“Every ball we hit went right at a fielder, and Shrewsbury was as solid as could be that night defensively and they deserved to win,” Picard said. “At this age level, it’s rare for the defense to make all the plays, but Shrewsbury was on. They deserved it.”
But Picard said Auburn definitely left its mark on the tournament, with the “sea of blue Auburn supporters.”
“The whole first base line down toward the outfield was a sea of blue,” he said. “It was incredible to see that, and we thank all the parents for their great support.”
Auburn’s players include Mike Breen, Coleman Picard, Nigel Belgrave, CJ Willis, Sam Stencel, Justin Skaparas, Nolan Kennedy, Ryan Lempicki, Alex Stencel, Liam Jessie, Joe Clougherty and Colin Lutz.
The coaching staff includes Picard, Mike Breen, Matt Stencel and Mark Skaparas.
In addition to playing, the team has raised money to support adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Picard said the team has already raised about $4,000, which has far surpassed its initial goal of $1,500.
And the team is inviting adults to “play some softball, hit some home run bombs, hang out with some buddies and earn/lose a few bragging rights” in the Battle of the Dads tournament on July 28.
All proceeds from the softball benefit event will go to the Jimmy Fund.
The softball games at Auburn High School will go from about 2 to 8 p.m. The home run derby will take place from 4:30 to 5 p.m.
The entry fee for the one-day tournament is $20 per person and the home run derby entry fee is $5.