(Aug. 9, 2013) The Berlin Little League All-Stars competed in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Little League Tournament this week, held in Bristol, Conn., and advanced to the semifinal game today, Friday, despite two losses.
Assistant Coach Eric Snelsire said it’s been “a great week.”
“These boys have been incredible and we’re doing really well so far,” said Coach Bill Wheatley. “The first two were both very good games.”
The tournament kicked off for Berlin with a game against New Jersey last Friday. The All-Stars won 5-4 over the East Greenwich New Jersey Little League team. The Berlin offensive started strong with two runs in the first inning.
Hayden Snelsire pitched four innings, only allowing three runs. He struck out three, walked two and allowed four hits. Tristan McDonough racked up two RBIs on two hits for Berlin. On the mound, McDonough allowing one hit, one earned run, walked one and struck out two during his two innings of relief.
The Berlin All-Stars went up against the Newark National Little League team last Saturday and won 6-2 over the Delaware squad.
Matt Kinsey pitched five and two-thirds innings, allowing only two runs. He struck out three and gave up seven hits. Zach Pletcher relieved Kinsey and struck out Newark in three pitches.
Berlin scored once in the first, second and third innings. The All-Stars held the game-winning score in the bottom of the fifth when McDonough hit a two-run home run. Wheatley then hit a single, stole second and advanced to third. Wes Powell’s base-clearing double brought Wheatley home.
The winning streak soon ended for Berlin. Washington, D.C., edged out the local Maryland team 11-10 on Monday and Pennsylvania shut out Berlin 2-0 on Tuesday. Coach Wheatley said they were both “really close games.”
Billy Wheatley pitched the first two innings of Monday’s game against Capital City. The Washington, D.C. team scored three in the first inning and four in the top of the second.
Berlin scored three runs in the bottom of the first but went two more innings without putting a runner on base.
Pletcher replaced Wheatley in the third inning and gave up three runs, giving D.C. a 10-3 lead. Berlin then scored five in the bottom of the fourth, including a two-run single by Kinsey and a two-run triple by Powell.
The game went scoreless in the fifth inning. D.C. scored one in the top of the sixth and Jack Rosengerg hit a two-run triple for Berlin in the bottom half of the inning.
Coach Snelsire said the team and its coaches toured the ESPN studio in Bristol after the D.C. game. He said it was a “great experience” for Berlin and helped them to bond. However, the All-Stars got right back into the tournament the following day.
The game against Lionville Little League Tuesday remained scoreless for the first inning. Pennsylvania hit a home run in the top of the second and scored again in the top of the sixth.
Berlin failed to scored the entire game and left a total of nine runners stranded on the bases.
Despite the two losses, Berlin will go up against Pennsylvania again in the semifinal game today, Friday, at 3 p.m., which will be broadcast on ESPN.
If Berlin wins the game, they will advance to the championship match and have a shot at playing in the Little League World Series, held Aug. 15-25, in Williamsport, Pa.
“I’ll tell you what, I believe in this team,” said Wheatley. “One of our mottos is ‘Don’t stop believing.’ They are very talented kids and I’m very proud of them.”
The Berlin All-Stars are still accepting donations to help fund their trips. To make a tax-deductable donation, contact Nornie Bunting at 410-251-0201 or Eric Snelsire at 412-977-3882. To follow the Berlin All-Stars, visit www.facebook.com/berlinlittleleague.org.
“These guys are really skilled in baseball,” said Snelsire. “They’re a really special group and I’m proud of how they handle themselves on and off the field. I’ve also gotten comments about the level of class at which they play.”