Dover earns 2nd straight Senior League baseball championship

Dover poses with its District I Senior League baseball championship banner on Tuesday night. The players on the team include Marquis Guy, Gabriel Skay, Nathan Turner, Alec Rodriguez, Avery Dabney, Teyvion McCoy, Carter Wright-Sanders, Mason Greene, Connor McPhail, Travon Foster, Harrison Knapp, Brandon Snyder and Ian Thomas. (Submitted photo)

SMYRNA — At first, Alec Rodriguez didn’t think the ball was going out.

“But then I saw the outfielder look over his head,” said the Dover left fielder.

Finally, the baseball cleared the fence for a three-run home run that put the exclamation point on Dover’s second-straight District I crown in Senior League baseball on Tuesday night.

Rodriguez’ homer over the right field fence ended Dover’s 13-2 victory over Felton-Harrington by the 10-run rule in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The home run also capped off a big night for Rodriguez, who had four hits and five RBI in the contest, played at Smyrna-Clayton Little League.

“It feels great jogging around the bases,” said Rodriguez, who had a homer in each of Dover’s three games in the tourney. “Every time, it’s always exciting.”

“I thought it would be a good way to end it,” said Dover manager Aaron Jenkins. “It was a great feeling. I’m glad to have him.

“We wanted to get it done today. We want to save all our pitching for when we go there (to the state tournament). We want to be healthy and ready.”

Alec Rodriguez of Dover watches a bases loaded double hit a few feet from the fence to chase home 2 runs in the 3rd inning against Felton Harrington. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

The district title sends Dover to the three-team state tourney, which starts on July 9 at New Castle County’s District II.

Besides Rodriguez, Dover was paced offensively by Gabe Skay (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Teyvion McCoy (2-for-3, 1 RBI) and Connor McPhail (1-for-2).

Pitcher Nate Turner went the distance, striking out four.

Dover took the lead for good with three runs in the third inning, highlighted by Rodriguez’ two-run double to the fence in centerfield. A six-run fourth then broke the game open for Dover, which got an RBI double from Skay.

Felton-Harrington, which needed a victory to force a second championship game on Thursday, got one run in the fourth when Wade Brooks singled and scored on a hit from Leighton Webb. Its other run came in the fifth when Christian Aldridge singled and came home on a hit from Zack Cole.

About half the players on Dover’s roster were with the team last year when its season ended quietly in the state tournament.

Rodriguez hopes he and his teammates learned something from the experience.

Dover pitcher Nathan Turner goes to the plate in game Tuesday night against Felton Harrington. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

“Last year, when we went to the next level, we got destroyed pretty much,” said Rodriguez, who played for Dover High’s varsity squad as a freshman in the spring. “But this year we have a lot of players that we bond with. When we won last year, we were very overconfident.”

“I’m going to make sure they’re not overconfident this time,” said Jenkins. “This team is great — they’re fun and full of characters. Everybody’s good.

“We’ve got to bring our ‘A’ game. I’m going to make sure they’re ready.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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