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Cranberry 10U team wins baseball titles

The Cranberry Township 10U 'A' tournament team competed in five tournaments this summer, placing second in two and winning two titles. Team members included Matthew Aluise, Joey Cappell, Zachary Garma, Tyler Garvin, Lucas Henn, Chase Lauer, Nathan Lemke, Andrew Malichky, Sam Marcotte, Ryan Piekutoski and Tyler Prex.

CRANBERRY TWP — Having fun was the goal. Winning proved to be the icing on the cake.

Members of the Cranberry Township 10U ‘A’ tournament baseball team found that out this summer.

Playing in five tournaments, the squad finished runner-up twice and won a pair of titles.

“A lot of these kids have been playing together since they were 7 years old,” said Cranberry coach Dan Lemke. “They took their licks the first few years, but things have started to click for them.”

The team was made up of 11 players who made the cut during tryouts in May. Each player came from Cranberry’s in-house league, which includes nine teams.

“It worked out perfectly because we had 33 players try out,” said Lemke. “So we had 11 players each on the A, B and C teams. The kids are all good athletes and they play multiple sports.

“They’re 10-year-old kids, so we didn’t have expectations for them. Everything just came together for us.”

Cranberry finished second at tournaments held at Pine-Richland and Sandusky, Ohio, before besting the field in Monroeville and on its home turf at Cranberry Township Park.

In all four tournaments, the team compiled an overall record of 15-4-1.

“Even when we didn’t win a tournament, the kids were having fun,” said Lemke, “but they are all competitive and wanted to win. Winning at Monroeville was a special thing. We won all five games there by the mercy rule.”

The two tournament titles aren’t counted as victories just for Cranberry’s ‘A’ team, but for the league as a whole.

“Fortunately, we have so many kids in Cranberry, our other teams were pretty good, too,” said Lemke. “I’m most happy for the kids. They played as a team and it was a really cool experience.”