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Kiwanis Home Run Derby draws 27 participants

LACONIA — This year's Kiwanis Home Run Derby finally, in its 4th year, reached a level of success that gives Kiwanis organizers hope that it will become one of the pre-eminent fund-raisers for local children.

This past Saturday saw 27 participants in 3 separate divisions vie for trophies and prizes. Over $2,500 was raised to support children's charities, and food and fun were had by all.

Prizes were donated by several local businesses to include T-Bones/Cactus Jack's, Fratello's. Funspot, Laconia Muskrats, Manchester Fisher Cats, and others.

This year's 13 and under winner, Jordan Ortiz won not only a $25 gift certificate to T-Bones/Cactus Jack's, but a trophy, and a date to participate in batting practice with the Muskrats, followed by the game on Friday, July 25th.

The 14-18 competition was fierce. More home runs were hit by the top two finalists than all other contestants combined. Belmont HS baseball coach Matt Leblanc sent two "ringers" to participate, and they were challenged strongly by Laconia American Legion players. It was only fitting that following the 8 entrants in this age group that a Belmont HS and Laconia player squared off for not only the trophy and gift certificate to T-Bones/Cactus Jack's, but a $100 cash prize as well, if either contestant's over-all total exceeded the MLB HR Derby champ set the prior Monday just before the All-Star game, 28 homers. Unbelievably, both contestants DID exceed the 28. Joey Levesque of Belmont HS slammed 30 HR's, but was surpassed in a tense final by Laconia's Riley Stone with 36 Home Runs. An amazing competition that kept the stands filled with fans for the full 3 hours of riveting competition.

The senior division too was a challenge of loyalties. Meredith Village Savings Bank eked out a victory over Bank of New Hampshire by the slimmest of margins. Winner Eric Petell won despite serious sciatica attacks during the competition.

The Laconia Kiwanis Club supports a number of children's charities including children's sports teams in both Laconia and Gilford, the Laconia High School Key Club, the Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice Pediatric program, the Lakes Region Boy's and Girl's Club, Camp Mayhew, and Got Lunch! Laconia.

Scott Laurent, immediate past-president of the Laconia Kiwanis club, was thrilled with this year's support the community has given the Home Run Derby. He noted he is most appreciative to all those who helped support the event, especially leading contributors: Meredith Village Savings Bank; Martin Lord & Osman, P.A; Bank of New Hampshire; Tanger Outlets, and Clay's Construction.

Information regarding the Laconia Kiwanis Club is available at www.laconiakiwanis.com.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 July 2014 08:04

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Sweep of Schooners puts Muskrats in charge of post-season fate

A two game cushion separates the Muskrats' current third place playoff position and fifth place, the first team out of postseason play. Two regular season games remain for the Muskrats before the deadline of this article. Last night the team traveled to Newport to take on the Gulls. Tonight the team is in Keene for what could shape up to be a huge division battle. "I like our chances in the playoffs, if we make it," said Noah Crane, Muskrats GM. "This is the most roster depth we've ever had at this point in the season over the past five years. We are healthy and not missing any of our key contributors."

The Muskrats are 20-20 before last night's contest. Both Keene and North Adams are two and a half games back at 17-21 with four games to play prior to Thursday. Laconia could secure the third postseason spot by winning the final two games. Laconia won the season series against North Adams earlier this season and holds a three games to two lead over Keene with the final game tonight in southwest New Hampshire.

The Muskrats played back to back double headers on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team split a pair with Keene on Tuesday, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win 6-4. They dropped the nightcap 7-6 at Robbie Mills Field. Laconia headed to Mystic, Conn. the next day for a pair versus the Schooners. Laconia swept the pair to keep a hold on the third place position in the Northern Division.

The Muskrats would head to Sanford if they hang on to the third place spot. Should they fall to fourth place the Muskrats will head to Vermont to take on the Mountaineers. If the team falls to the fifth place spot, they will be headed home for the season. Chances are much better for Laconia to reach the playoffs after the sweep of the Schooners. Keene has the hardest schedule for the last two games. The Swamp Bats played North Adams last and host the Muskrats tonight for the final game of the regular season.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Dragons Softball organization holding tryouts Aug. 10 & 16

BARNSTEAD — The Dragons ASA Softball organization invite any girl wishing to play fast pitch competitive softball to tryout for a team. The Dragons are an organization whose goal is to provide girls the opportunity to improve their softball skills while playing competitive softball and being part of a softball family and having fun.
Tryouts will be held on August 10 and August 16. The 16U (16 years old and younger) girls will tryout from 9 to 11 a.m.; 14U will tryout from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 12U from 1 to 3 p.m. and; 10U tryouts will be from 3 to 5 p.m.

Tryouts will be held at the Barnstead Elementary School, 91 Maple Street, Center Barnstead. For more information, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 05:59

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Muskrats battling to protect playoff spot

Ten games remain in the New England Collegiate Baseball League regular season and the Muskrats are occupying the third playoff spot in the Northern Division. The top four teams advance to the postseason. The upcoming week could see the Muskrats secure a playoff spot early and give them time to rest and regroup for a deep playoff run. "This is a huge week for us in regard to the playoff seeding," GM Noah Crane said. "A good week can secure a playoff spot instead of fighting for a spot down to the last game."

Most of the team had Sunday off for the NECBL All-Star game but returned to action on Monday, handing the Valley Blue Sox a 2-0 loss. Shea Spitzbarth (Molloy College) gained the win, facing 26 batters over seven innings of work. The right hander struck out seven batters to add to his league leading strike out count totaling 44 on the season. Matt Byrne (Iona) drove in both runs on a fifth inning double.

Tuesday night Laconia continued the shutout streak, blanking the North Adams SteepleCats 4-0. The Muskrats jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the top of the second inning. The two runs proved to be enough for Jack English (Florida Gulf Coast) and the bullpen in the shutout. Laconia tacked on two more runs in sixth to cap the scoring. Shortstop Nick Massonia (Troy) led the offense with a two run home run.

The team was washed out on Wednesday and traveled to second place Sanford last night, hoping to gain ground on the Mainers. Tonight they will host the last place Valley Blue Sox. The weekend has major playoff implications when the Muskrats head to North Adams on Saturday. The SteepleCats are a game off Laconia's third place 16-16 mark. On Sunday the Muskrats will host Sanford for the second time in three days. "This is always the toughest part of the year as we have many games to fit into a few days," Continued Crane. "Also the players are fatigued and the desire to go home starts to set in. We need to finish strong as we have a chance to make a run in the playoffs."

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 05:44

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