SKOWHEGAN — A win on Sunday earned Skowhegan a day of rest in the 11U Cal Ripken New England tournament. The youngsters put that day to good use.

“Just rested,” pitcher/shortstop Kyle Kruse said. “Just watched some of the games here. We had a practice for a little bit, but just rested.”

In this case, whatever momentum Skowhegan had from winning two games over the weekend seemed to be multiplied on Tuesday evening. In a matchup of the final two unbeaten teams in the tournament, Skowhegan rolled to a 13-2 victory over Riverside (Mass.), in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule at the Carl Wright Complex.

“This team right now is playing the best baseball they’ve played all year,” Skowhegan coach Ken Reed said. “…They’re hitting the ball. The excitement is there. They’re making plays. It’s fun to watch.”

“We all made plays,” Kruse said. “We all hit the ball. We all contributed.”

Riverside plays Andy Valley in an elimination game Wednesday at 5 p.m. Skowhegan will face the winner of that game in the New England championship Thursday at 3 p.m. If Skowhegan loses on Thursday the teams will play another game at 5 p.m. for the title.

Kruse pitched on Tuesday despite throwing 110 pitches on Saturday, which meant he was going with two days rest. He went all five innings, and needed only 52 pitches while allowing two runs on four hits. Of Riverside’s 15 outs, two were strikeouts and 12 came on ground balls.

“We talked a lot before this game about whether or not he should pitch,” Reed said. “I talked with his father. I talked with him. He seemed ready, but we had a close eye on him to be sure. He did not have his normal stuff, but he kept the ball down. His ball actually sunk a little bit with less speed. He got a lot of ground balls and we made the plays.”

Skowhegan’s offense belted out 13 hits, including three by Jimmy Reed and two apiece by Kruse, Cam Louder and Chance Towle. It was 2-0 after one inning when Reed scored on a delayed steal and Sam Shields singled home Towle. Skowhegan added two more in the top of the second on Reed’s two-run double, and a two-run single by Jacob Steeves was the big hit in a three-run third that made it 7-0.

Riverside finally got on the board with the score 8-0 in the fourth on a home run by Tim McAndrews and Zachary D’Urso’s RBI groundout, but Skowhegan kept coming. In the top of the fifth Reed singled home one run, and Cam Louder then blasted one over the left field fence for a grand slam.

This win also means another day of rest for Skowhegan. The players and coaches have certainly shown they can handle it.

“We’ll probably just take a few swings in the cage, not too much,” Ken Reed said. “…We’ll probably just lay low tomorrow, come watch what happens with the other game and enjoy it.

“This is just a lot of fun. Right now, we’re just on a roll. I just want the ball to keep rolling. Things are breaking for us right now. I know I”m having a lot of fun.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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