Del. District I falls to Pa., sets up winner-take-all rematch

DOVER — On Tuesday, it took 10 innings to decide a winner between District I and Pennsylvania.

But, in Wednesday’s rematch, it only seemed to take one inning for Pennsylvania to take control.

Pennsylvania scored three runs in the top of the first and never looked back, eventually posting a 7-3 victory over Kent County in the finals of the Big League baseball East Regional.Big League 007

In handing District I (3-1) its first loss of the double-elimination tournament, Pennsylvania (4-1) forced a second game for the East championship. That contest will be played today at 10 a.m. at Dover Little League with the winner earning a ticket to the Big League World Series in Easley, S.C.

District I, which won 9-6 in Tuesday’s 10-inning marathon, managed just two hits and one run off Pennsylvania starting pitcher Eathan Snyder. The righthander struck out seven before leaving the game with two outs in the sixth when he reached his mandatory pitch limit of 105.

“We think they came out a little flat,” Kent County manager L.B. Stubbs said about his players. “Their pitcher was on tonight. He commanded the zone, he threw his pitches. He did well. I was very impressed.”

Pennsylvania earned its spot in the finals by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 4-3 victory over New Jersey in the losers’ bracket finals on Wednesday. That game was played just before the rematch with District I.

Pennsylvania kept hitting in the nightcap, totaling 11 hits in just the first four innings. After scoring three runs in the first, Pennsylvania added single runs in each of the next four innings to eventually open up a 7-1 advantage.

District I did start a comeback in the seventh, stringing together three straight hits from Tommy Jordan, Quinton Ivy (double) and Tyler Collins to score a pair of runs. But Pennsylvania got the last two outs — on a pair of hard-hit flyballs — to end the rally.

Stubbs just hopes District I will take some momentum from its last at-bat into today’s contest.

“That last inning, if we play like that, we’re going to be hard to beat,” said Stubbs. “We just let them know, we want them to play their game, play what they’re capable of doing.”

Kent County’s only other run came in the second when Cole Gary singled and pinch-runner Eric Berardicelli eventually scored on a single from Dillon Cole.

The continuation of the tourney in Little League’s division for 16-18 year olds was left in some doubt after a fight broke out during the 10th inning of the District I-Pennsylvania game on Tuesday.

In a conference call with the team managers on Wednesday afternoon, Little League officials reprimanded them for their teams’ behavior. No coaches were allowed outside the dugouts during Wednesday’s games — other than to make lineup changes.

The players coached first and third base during the contests.

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