Forest City advances in Ripken tourney

Winners of the District5 Cal Ropken Tourney are, in the front, Evan O'Neill. In the front row, from left, are Eric Paulin, Cody Tomlinson, Joe Callan, Danny Lockett, Corey Daniels, Tyler Clift. In the middle row are Matt Giles, Tyler Lesjack, Dakota Knehr-Cook, Nick Hansen, Riley O'Neill, Lucas O'Neill, and Jacob Tighe. In the back row are Coach Tom Daniels,   Manager Rich Paulin, and Coach Frank O'Neill.

Winners of the District5 Cal Ropken Tourney are, in the front, Evan O’Neill. In the front row, from left, are Eric Paulin, Cody Tomlinson, Joe Callan, Danny Lockett, Corey Daniels, Tyler Clift. In the middle row are Matt Giles, Tyler Lesjack, Dakota Knehr-Cook, Nick Hansen, Riley O’Neill, Lucas O’Neill, and Jacob Tighe. In the back row are Coach Tom Daniels, Manager Rich Paulin, and Coach Frank O’Neill.

At Honesdale’s Scott Kinzinger Complex, Forest City’s 12-year-olds wasted no time in game one showing they were the team to beat in this year’s PA Cal Ripken District 5 All-Star Tournament by sending Honesdale to the loser bracket in a 18-1 lopsided win.

That set up the second game of the day with Wyalusing. Forest City held a 6-0 lead until Wyalusing rallied with six runs in the fourth, four of them via a grand slam. Going into the bottom of the sixth inning the score was tied 6-6, Forest City being the home team would get their last at bats.

Joe Callan worked the count for a walk, Lucas O’Neill grounded into a fielder’s choice, Eric Paulin grounded to third but was safe on an errant throw. Two runners on with one out, Dakota Knehr-Cook fouled off several pitches, then sent one over the centerfield wall for a walk-off 3-run home run.
That win set up a Sunday semi-final meeting with Valley View. The scrappy Valley View team was enjoying some success of their own beating Waymart and Delaware Valley in their Saturday games.

Forest City again wasted no time posting two runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a towering Dakota Knehr-Cook homer, The young Foresters never looked back posting a 6-1 victory.

That win sent them to the District 5 Championship on Tuesday, June 27, against Wyalusing, who fought their way back to the tourney championship through the losers’ bracket. Having played Wyalusing several days earlier as well as twice last year the FC squad knew it had a formidable opponent in the championship.

Forest City picked right up where it left off Sunday and came out swinging, posting several runs in each of the first four innings. Stellar pitching by Dakota Knehr-Cook and Tyler Lesjack kept Wyalusing hitters guessing and great defensive plays by Cody Tomlinson, Joe Callan and Corey Daniels proved too much for the Wyalusing team.

Forest City won the Championship 10-0 in a shortened mercy rule game.

For the fourth straight year this group has made it to its respective District Championship and qualified for the Pennsylvania Cal Ripken State Tournament.

In 2010, as 9-year-olds they were the District 5 runners-up and went on the play at the 9U State Tournament in Birdsboro. In 2011 they were the district runners-up and played in the 10U State Tournament in Douglassville and again last year runners-up honors and played in the 11U State Tournament in Warrington. While this year’s team has a couple new faces, the vast majority of these kids have been playing together for four years.