M.O.T. bats secure spot in District I Major League final

DOVER — The players for Middletown-Odessa-Townsend came out of the gate swinging in the winners’ bracket final of the District I Major League Baseball Tournament on Saturday night.

Camden-Wyoming did not.

Hot hitting is what guaranteed M.O.T. a spot in Monday night’s championship game after Zak Sophy highlighted a six-run explosion in the top of the first inning with a two-run home run as M.O.T. cruised to a 10-2 victory over Camden-Wyoming at Dover Little League’s Pat Knight Field.

“These boys have been hitting the baseball the whole series,” M.O.T. manager Bill Bond said. “We’re making good selections at the plate, have been very disciplined with the pitches that they’re swinging at and getting good hard groundballs in the hole.”

Sophy, who started and pitched two-and-a-third scoreless innings and allowed just one hit, also hit a monstrous one-out homer to center field in the second that extended M.O.T.’s lead to 7-0.

“It was good to get back on the field,” said Sophy, after his team endured a couple of rainouts the past two days. “It felt really good to get those early runs and helped me on the mound.”

M.O.T. will face the winner of the losers’ bracket final between Dover and Camden-Wyoming — which will be played tonight at 6 at Dover Little League — in the championship game on Monday night at 7.

It was that six-run first inning that gave M.O.T. all the momentum it would need on Saturday night.

Michael Lothrup led off the game with a homer over the fence in straightaway center, some 225-feet away from home plate.

Brandon Sullivan followed with a double before Jimmy Breen brought him home with another two-bagger to make it 2-0.

That set up Sophy’s first home run. He now has four homers in the all-star tournament.

M.O.T. then added a couple of more runs in the first frame, one on an error and another on Tyler Mayer’s RBI single as it opened up a quick 6-0 advantage.

M.O.T. added single runs in the second and fourth innings and plated two more in the sixth to record the win. The team belted out 11 hits among eight different players.

Bond attributed that to hard work.

“We had a couple of rainouts but these boys had a spot to go to and we worked out,” the manager said. “They didn’t want to stop. They didn’t want to take the day off.

“We went and worked indoors (Friday) night for two-and-a-half hours, from the time they canceled the game from seven o’clock until 9:30. They’re working hard.”

Camden-Wyoming scored its pair of runs in the fifth inning, getting one on Griffin Tracey’s RBI single and adding another on a pitch that went to the backstop.
Camden-Wyoming could only manage three hits off three M.O.T. pitchers – Sophy, Eli Hunt and Will Austin.

Derek Lawson, Camden-Wyoming’s manager, said his team will have to go back to the drawing board today and try to work its way back.

“M.O.T. hit the ball and you’ve got to hit it,” Lawson said. “I like our chances against Dover, we’ve played them in the past, and we’ll see what happens.

“We have a lot of good kids. There’s a lot of talent across the board with pitching, hitting and defensively. Like I said, I like our chances.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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