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2021 Granite State Fall Brawl Tournament
September 18th-19th 2021
Robert Gallucci | Director of Marketing & Digital Content
Firecracker Sports kicked held their second of four fall tournaments this past weekend with the third annual Granite State Fall Brawl. This year there were 20 teams across the three divisions (13/14u, 15/16u and 17/18u) playing at five venues in New Hampshire.
Day 1, Saturday
I started my tournament at Sullivan Park on the campus of Saint Anslem College in Manchester, NH and the first game on my schedule was in the 15/16u division between GBG Northeast 16u and Nor’Easters 16u. A great game to start my tournament as it was tied at zeros going into the sixth inning. GBG would grab two runs in the top of the sixth which would go unanswered, game ending 2-0 GBG victorious. The stars of the show were the pitchers, Nor’Easters slinger Braydon Gray (2023) threw six and one third innings amassing 13 strikeouts and allowing just two runs off of five hits in a stellar effort. For GBG, starting pitcher Jack Ritchie went four and one third innings for his side, unafraid to pitch to contact, he allowed just two hits and notched four strikeouts in a shutout performance.
GBG Northeast would stick around for a second game, another duel of a match up against JM Baseball Academy Gold. This one was scoreless and headed to extra innings. In the top of the eighth, the game saw it’s first runs as JM tallied four. Nor’Easters would answer back with one run in the bottom half but fell short of the comeback and the game would go to JM 4-1. Sean Petersen (2023) capped off the four run JM top eighth with a two-run single to center field to widen the gap. On the mound was for JM was DC Brown (2024), retiring 10 batters and allowing just three hits and one run in seven innings of work.
Nor’Easters came back to Sullivan Park to take on JM Baseball for each team’s second game of the day and my third in the 15/16u division. Another close battle, however, the runs wouldn’t wait until the later innings as Nor’Easters opened scoring in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. They would score two more runs in the third inning and keep JM of the scoreboard to win the game 3-0. Pitching seemed to be the theme of the day, this time Nor’Easters Jack Raimo got the nod and produced five scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and sat down eight batters.
The fourth and final game at Saint Anselm was in the 13/14u division and set GBG Northeast 14u up against New Hampshire Bobcats for a twilight showdown. The Bobcats started well, scoring twice in the bottom of the second to take the first lead of the game. They would hold their 2-0 lead going into the fourth inning before GBG awoke from their slumber. GBG would tally one run in the fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and four runs in the seventh inning in route to the 8-2 win. At the plate for GBG, Daniel Colon registered two RBI with his double and reached three times. Parker Boyd supplied a double and a triple and scored twice to supply the GBG offense.
Day 2, Sunday
For championship day, I started once again in Manchester, NH but this time I find myself at Gill Stadium to catch three games to start off the action. The first was a final pool play game in the 17/18u division between GBG Northeast 18u and Upstate Academy. GBG struck first with one run in the top of the second which was followed by three scoreless innings on both sides. A two-run sixth and another two runs in the seventh gave GBG a 5-0 win over Upstate to boost their playoff seeding. GBG pitcher Sundelci went the distance as he threw seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out 12 batters. On the offensive side was Ruels as he knocked in two runs with a double. Brendan Sencaj (2023) also supplied offense as he went 2-3 with two doubles and a run scored.
The second game began the playoffs for the 13/14u division and pitted JM Baseball against NH Prospects 14u. JM started well, scoring one run in the top of the first before NH Prospects answered with three runs in the bottom half. The second inning matched the scoring of the first and Prospects held a 6-2 lead after two innings. NH prospects kept on the gas, totaling nine hits and scoring once more in the third inning and three times in the fourth to take the game 10-2 in five innings. Leading the offensive charge for the Prospects was Brendan Horne (2025) as he went 2-3 with a double, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. Getting the win on the mound was Ryan Duton (2025) with five innings of work, two runs allowed off four hits and striking out seven batters.
The championship in the 13/14u division saw NH Prospects 14u do battle with the GBG Northeast 14u. Both defenses held strong, allowing a combined six total hits. Prospects would strike first, tallying one run in the top of the second before GBG answered with one run in the bottom of the third. The last run of the game was scored in the sixth inning and went way of GBG to give what would be the final score line of 2-1 in a thrilling title game. Defense was the star with GBG catcher Parker Boyd throwing out both attempted stolen basses that challenged his arm. His partners on the mound Joey Benoit and Luke Tepfer threw five and two innings respectively. Benoit one hit and one run and added two strikeouts whilst Tepfer allowed one hit and struck out two to close out the game and tile win. Nolan Rappoli earned MVP honors for the 13/14u division after a strong showing this weekend.
I quickly drove to New England College in Henniker, NH to catch the end of the 17/18u championship game between GBG Northeast 18u and 603 Bandits. I arrived at a very tight, 5-4 game with 603 Bandits on top during the fourth inning. GBG would tie the game in the top of the fifth and we were all tied going into the bottom of the sixth. The Bandits exploded, tallying eight runs in the inning and taking the 13-5 in six innings via mercy. 603’s offense was led by Dan Kiniry (2023) as he was 3-3 in the game with a double and two RBIs. Tanner Wolpert (2022) enjoyed his birthday as he ended the game with a walk off double to center that scored the final two runs. The MVP for the 17/18u division was 603 Bandits pitcher Tyler Sprince (2023).
Although I was unable to make it to the 15/16u championship game, a fantastic game saw the 3-1 score line go way of the Nor’Easters 16u, prevailing over the talented Rip City team. Byron Woodman (2023) was 2-3 in the game for the Nor’easters and batted in two runs. Pitcher Josh Florence (2024) went the full game, seven innings conceding just two hits and one run while striking out nine batters. Byron Woodman garnered the MVP honors for the 15/16u division as a result of his stellar performances.
2021 Granite State Fall Brawl – All-Tournament Team
After consulting with the college coaches and field supervisors, the office of player development has selected the following athletes for the 2021 Granite State Fall Brawl All-Tournament Team.
Max Kasper – GBG Northeast Hawks 17U
Tyler Sprince – 603 Bandits
Vinny Maganero – Upstate Academy
Sundecki – GBG Northeast Hawks 18U
Byron Woodman – Nor’Easters
Ben Cornish – Rip City
Trey Lindsey – CT Fury
Brendan Horne – NH Prospects
Nolan Rappoli – GBG Northeast Hawks 14U
This weekend was another fantastic couple of days out on the baseball fields. We want to thank all the coaches, parents and players that came out and participated in this year’s tournament and made it such a competitive and enjoyable event, these things don’t happen without you. To the college, high school and town facility staffs that prepared us such great venues for the weekend to host this top talent we would like to thank you sincerely. Finally, the college coaches that came to evaluate these prospects and make the experience that much more fulfilling, we thank you and look forward to seeing you again soon.
We will next be in action in Farmingdale, NY October 1st-2nd for the second annual Long Island Showcase Classic. This will be the penultimate tournament with the last being the following week in Connecticut. We look forward to continue to enjoy the fantastic fall weather out on the fields with everyone.