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COVENTRYâ€”After watching three strikes go by in his first at-bat 11-year Loren Vaughn wasnâ€™t about to make the same mistake twice at Paine Field Tuesday.
â€śItâ€™s just that the first time up I was nervous,â€ť the Coventry American center fielder said.
After that it was pretty clear nerves were no longer a factor.
Vaughn hit three home runs in his final three at-bats â€“ including two in the third inning and a grand slam in the fourth â€“ and recorded nine RBI as Coventry National walloped North Kingstown 22-0 in the consolation bracket of the 12-Year Old All-Stars District 3 Tournament.
â€śWe all played very good,â€ť Vaughn said. â€śâ€¦[Itâ€™s been fun because] this is the first time that my team has been very good.â€ť
Playing their first elimination game so far this tournament, National emphatically stated that it wasnâ€™t ready to stop playing baseball this summer.
â€śThey decided they wanted to keep playing,â€ť Coventry National coach Mike Madonna said. â€śGreat pitching, great defense a great everything, never mind that the hitting was the best Iâ€™ve ever seen at a game.â€ť
Coventry â€“ who batted first Tuesday â€“ didnâ€™t wait long to get on the scoreboard as Cam Toussaint and Griffen Pilla hit back-to-back, one-out singles and scored one batter later on a Troy Osterhout double.
â€śThey hit the ball and we came out with a purpose,â€ť Madonna said. â€śWe didnâ€™t want someone coming in here and sending us home and the momentum didnâ€™t stop.â€ť
NK managed to get out of the inning but could not get anything going offensively against Osterhout, who faced the minimum number of batters in his two innings of work and left with a 5-0 lead after just 18 pitches.
His services would not be needed for the remainder of the game as the National bats came alive in resounding fashion in the third.
Mike Swanholm led off the inning with a walk and Vaughn followed with his first home run to push the lead to 7-0.
Jake Organ and Toussaint each drew walks and Pilla was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Osterhout, who launched a grand slam well into the trees in left to extend the lead to 11-0.
Devin White followed with a walk but North appeared to be on its way out of the inning after recording back-to-back outs.
That would not be the case though, as Swanholm drew his second walk of the inning and Vaughn belted his second homer of the inning â€“ a line-drive laser beam to center.
Toussaint added a two-run home run before the inning finally ended to increase Nationalâ€™s lead to 16-0.
After Toussaint pitched a scoreless third Coventry National kept it going in the top of the fourth as a grand slam from Vaughn and a solo shot from Organ highlighted a six-run inning.
Organ finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored, Toussaint was 3-for-4 with five runs scored â€“ just a triple shy of the cycle â€“ and Pilla went 4-for-4 with four singles and three runs scored.
Ostershout was 5-for-5 with three singles, a double and the grand slam, while Swanholm walked three times and scored four runs.
Jack Westall, Ben Masse and David Zola each recorded singles for North Kingstown.
Coventry Nationalâ€™s next game will be Sunday at 5:30 p.m. against the winner of South Kingstown National and Warwick West Side.