Cal Ripken League Minors players working on fundamentals as games keep coming

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LEE — Rain had players scrambling to the car a bit early, but it didn't stop Lee Orange from earning its first win of the season with a 10-8 victory over Lee Blue in some Berkshire Cal Ripken League Minors Division action at Lee Bank Field on Wednesday night.

The Orange (1-5) got rolling in the first inning and clean-up hitter Camden Simmons was the one carrying a big bat. With Isaiah Cater on second base, Simmons crushed a double to plate the run. When it was all said and done Orange had a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

"It felt great to get that [big hit]," Simmons said. "I missed [being out here with my friends] a lot, so it was a lot of fun."

With players back at the ball park, their goal is to sharpen their skills with another season under their belts. For Simmons, he was determined to stop everything coming his way behind the plate.

"I'm just trying to block any ball from getting past me and stopping any runs from scoring," Simmons said. "I want to get better at pitching [too]. I struggle [on the mound], but am using this season to improve."

Baseball is the only sport where you can fail 70 percent of the time [at the plate] and still reach the Hall of Fame, but each player is using this time to sharpen their swing.

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"I just really want to get more hits," said Keegan Burke, the lead-off hitter for Lee Blue. "I'd like to get better on the mound."

Burke was a problem at the top of the Blue lineup, finishing the day with two hits and one run scored. Bryce Hoff helped Lee Blue (6-2) keep the game close with a double that scored Gabe Ranzoni as Orange led 3-2 at the end of one. After Orange plated two runs in the top of the second, Ivan Healey worked out of a jam in the bottom of the second by striking out two batters. Healey's night on the mound came to a close at the end of two innings, which featured three strikeouts. Trailing 10-5 in the bottom of the fourth and needing runs, Ranzoni answered the call with a big-time triple that plated Burke. Two batters later, Mason Bailey, who reached base in all three of his at bats, plated Hoff with a single, cutting the deficit to 10-8.

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That would be as close as Blue would come, though. Isaiah Carter carried Orange to the finish line on the mound by pitching two innings and striking out the side in the fifth in order to seal the deal for Orange.

Orange and Blue are both back in action on Saturday at 2 p.m.

"I was really missing my friends and it is great to be back out here," Burke said. "I am feeling good out there and it is feeling like a normal season."

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Lee Orange     323     20     —     10     1     0

Lee Blue     203     30     —     8     5     0

W: Healey; L: Bailey; S: Carter.

2B— LO: 1 (Simmons); LB: 1 (Hoff). 3B: LB: 1 (Ranzoni).

Jake Mendel can be reached at jmendel@berkshireeagle.com, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.

Lee Blue     203     30     —     8     5     0

W: Healey; L: Bailey; S: Carter.

2B— LO: 1 (Simmons); LB: 1 (Hoff). 3B: LB: 1 (Ranzoni).

Jake Mendel can be reached at jmendel@berkshireeagle.com, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.

W: Healey; L: Bailey; S: Carter.

2B— LO: 1 (Simmons); LB: 1 (Hoff). 3B: LB: 1 (Ranzoni).

Jake Mendel can be reached at jmendel@berkshireeagle.com, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.


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