Little League champs crowned
On Monday night, the White Sox defeated the Indians in the Ephrata Little League’s AAA baseball championship, 15-5. Two other champions were crowned Saturday at Wolf Field as the Cubs captured the AA title while the Mariners claimed the single A crown.
Although the Indians dropped the final game, they forced the playoff tournament finale to Monday night by coming out of the losers’ bracket to beat the White Sox on Saturday, 10-5.
Nik Landis gave up only one run as the starting pitcher for the Indians in Saturday’s game, and Adam Smith had three extra-base hits, including a first inning three-run homer, to power the Indians past the Sox and force another game to decide the championship.
While the White Sox did manage to push across four runs over the last two innings with big hits from Michael Fedorshak and Daulton Dietrich, the Indians, with production from their whole lineup and key defensive plays from Jackson Conover and Parker Heinsey, were never really challenged in this one.
With the season now down to one game, Monday night’s contest pitted Isaiah Boyer for the White Sox and Tyler Weaver for the Indians in a rematch of last Wednesday’s pitchers’ duel won by Boyer in a nine-strikeout effort.
While neither pitcher was as sharp on Monday, Boyer was given a big lead which he held effectively, until giving way to Dilyn Becker who slammed the door on the Indians over the last one-and-two-thirds innings and secured the White Sox’ 15-5 victory.
Both teams scored twice in the first, with the visiting Indians plating two on a hit by Smith and the Sox using hits from Kyle Raudenbush, Zach Vanderwende, Becker, and Brad DaBella to get their runs. The White Sox broke the game open in the bottom of the second, sending 11 batters to the plate in scoring seven runs on a combination of walks, hits, and a hit batsman.
The Indians got one run back in the third on two walks and an error and two more in the fourth on a two-run double from Nick Garman, but Becker came in to put out the fire and got the last two outs of the fourth. After the Sox made it 10-5 in the bottom of the fourth, the Indians went down 1-2-3 in the fifth.
In the bottom of the inning, the White Sox invoked the 10-run mercy rule by scoring five runs on four walks and three hits, including DaBella’s bases-loaded single that ended the game.
The playoff champion White Sox, coached by David Fedorshak, finished the season at 12-4, while the Indians, coached by Todd Johns, had the league’s best regular season record.
In Saturday’s AA title game between the Cubs and Phillies, the Cubs captured the title with an 8-4 victory.
Team MVP Joel Potts pitched five-and-one-third strong innings, striking out eight while making several outstanding plays on the rubber.
The Cubs looked to blow the game open in the top of the first scoring two early runs and having two on base, but the Phillies played great defense preventing further damage. Answering with two of their own in bottom of the first the Phillies let the Cubs know it was not going to be easy.
The Cubs began to combine great pitching and timely defense for the next four innings. Tucker Kurtz robbed the Phillies with two spectacular back-to-back plays in center field to keep them off the board. Aggressive at the plate and on the base paths the Cubs scraped out runs in all but the second inning.
The Phillies entered the bottom of the sixth down 8-2, after an amazing tag at second base for the first out, the Phillies loaded the bases and scored two runs. Luke Andes was called on for the two-out save and finished out the game for the Cubs.
And in single A action, the Mariners claimed the title with a 20-19 victory.