(July 12, 2013) The Berlin Little League All-Star teams finished their regular season this week when the 9-10-year-old and Major League baseball teams advanced to the district championship and the 9-10-year-old softball team placed second overall in its inaugural year.
The 9-10-year-olds wrapped up their season with a 12-0 loss to Delmar last Friday. Manager Dan Dobronz praised the performance of Eric Berry, the starting pitcher, for throwing strikes and keeping Delmar’s hitters “off balance.” He said Berlin played well defensively.
“We had our chances early and couldn’t get the job done,” Dobronz said. “Delmar is a very quality team. Their pitching staff is very solid and they did a great job keeping our hitters in check.”
Berlin moved on to the semifinal winner’s pool on Sunday, July 7 against Fruitland. The 9-10-year-olds came out on top 1-0. Dobronz said pitcher Houston Phillips threw 74 pitches in five and one-third innings, only giving up two hits and one walk. Ashten Snelsire closed out the game on the mound.
Dobronz said Kellen Catrino threw out from centerfield a Fruitland hitter running home. Catcher Luke Scott threw out two runners from behind the plate as they attempted to steal second base.
Offensively, Dobronz said, Evan Truitt sent the ball deep into left field for the game-winning run. Snelsire was thrown out at home base from the Fruitland shortstop as he attempted to score a second run.
“It was one of the best games I’ve been a part of as coach,” Dobronz said.
Berlin advanced to the district championship Monday against Delmar and lost 16-2.
Snelsire pitched first inning and kept the Delmar hitters off balance. Berlin gave up two runs but bounced back and scored two in the bottom of the second to tie the game 2-2. Dobronz said Delmar blew the game open in the third inning with a solo home run and combination of walks and hits.
“I was proud to be the coach of this 9-10-year-old team,” said Dobronz. “Our goal from the beginning was to be in the championship game and have a chance to compete for the district title. Obviously it would have been great to win but Delmar outplayed us to earn the victory.”
The Berlin team consists of five 9-year-olds and six 10-year-olds with only one player returning from last year.
The 9-10-year-old girls played a total of four games in their first season with the Berlin Little League. The season came to an end Wednesday, July 3, with a 13-2 loss to Delmar.
Delmar captured the district championship and will now move on to the state championship.
Manager Katie Griffin said she is “proud of the girls for placing second in the district in only the first year of competition.”
The district championship loss came the day after a 7-6 win against Snow Hill on Tuesday, July 2. Berlin went up against Delmar the first time Monday, July 1, and lost 18-11. The girls’ team held a wide margin in its first game against Snow Hill on Sunday, June 30, with an 18-8 win. The Berlin team consists of five 9-year-olds and six 10-year-olds.
The 11-12-year-olds pulled a 21-1 win in the semifinal game Monday, July 8, against East Wicomico. Berlin’s Wes Powell led the team with a three-run home. Billy Wheatley pitched a complete game no-hitter.
“We’re hoping it’s not coming to an end,” said Manager Cameron McDonough. “We hope to play to the end of August.”
Berlin advanced to the district championship, on Wednesday, July 10, against West Salisbury. McDonough said Monday he was optimistic about the turnout “if something strange doesn’t happen.”
“I’m hopeful that if we play our best and if they play their best, our best will be better,” he said.
Berlin was losing 2-1 in the fifth inning but fought back to win the game 6-2 to capture its third consecutive District 8 title.
The team consists of 10 12-year-olds, all of whom have returned from last year. The one 11-year-old on the team, McDonough said, is new to the area.
Last year, the Berlin Major League team, previously 10-11-year-olds, advanced as far as they could into the state level. There was no regional tournament in that division. This year, as 12-year-olds, they will have the chance to advance to the Little League World Series.