Minor League Red Sox ride Rice's arm to championship

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By Paul Gable

The Red Sox could not have picked a better time to break out of their slump.

After putting together several wins during the regular season, coach Jimmy Fryman watched his Grant County Youth Baseball minor league team hit a wall, finishing the regular season in third place.

"I thought we had the best athletic team, but we got a little overconfident and got into a slump," Fryman said.

The slump was short-lived; however, as the Red Sox brushed off their third place regular season finish and claimed the minor league tournament championship on June 21, defeating the A's 18-9. The A's won the regular season championship.

The Red Sox opened the game with back-to-back walks being issued to Zack Baxter and Jerimiah Rice and never looked back as Jimmy Fryman hit an RBI double and Will Neace drew a walk to load the bases in the top half of the first inning.

Caleb Thompson, Zack MacPherson, Ryan Price and Jordan Faught all recorded RBIs before the inning closed.

On the mound, the Red Sox got a quality performance from Rice, a crafty southpaw.

"It was a total team effort. We came ready to play and picked a good time to get out of our slump," Fryman said.

Rice threw four innings before Baxter came in to close the game.

Rice acknowledged that he was surprised with how the season went.

"I hoped we would do good, but the kids came a long way. They were a great group. They really improved on their mechanics and knowledge of the game, and they always wanted to learn," Fryman said.

Members of the team were: Zach Baxter, Jerimiah Rice, Jimmy Fryman, Will Neace, Caleb Thompson, Zach MacPherson, Ryan Price, Nick Wilson, Jordan Faught, Jena Schuller and Raymond Miller. In addition to Fryman, Jerry Wilson and Brad Williams also served as coaches.