By Mike Deak
WARSAW – League titles continued to pile up as Warsaw Little League crossed off another league champion Monday night. Wawasee Summer League also saw its first champion crowned as league play wraps up for the summer season.
Warsaw Little League Intermediate
Tigers 11, Cubs 7
What started as a runaway contest through two-and-a-half innings turned into a battle in the intermediate championship. The Tigers used RBI singles from Eli Rocha and Ilyjah Martinez to build a 7-0 lead after its turn at the dish through the third.
The Cubs, however, scratched out five runs in its portion of the third. After Trake Gibson rapped a two-run single and a wild pitch brought Gibson home, Sam Shapiro added a bases loaded single for another run. The Cubs added one more before leaving the bases loaded.
The Tigers, though, would get four runs back in short order, including back-to-back run-scoring doubles from Konner Fenix-Farias and Drew Jones.
“This game, we just put it all together as a team,” said Tigers coach Jerry Yeager. “You don’t have to motivate these kids. They have been coming back all season long. When we got the lead, we told them, hey, you are going to get challenged. You just have to keep scoring.”
Aiden Etner would triple in a run in the Cubs final at-bat, but Spencer Love would navigate the waters to earn the Tigers its championship trophies.
“This is a nice success story for us as the Tigers team, but this really shows what all the league as a whole has done this year,” Yeager said. “We had an absolute ball playing. I’ve been coaching out here for 11 years, and I don’t know if I have had a more fulfilling season than this one. We just went about business and played ball. That’s what summers should be about.”
Warsaw Little League Minors
Brewers 6, Dodgers 5
No trophies were handed out on the minor league diamond as the Brewers forced a final contest in the double-elimination bracket.
The Crew had Owen Nisen navigate the highest of pressure situations, earning a bases loaded, walk-off walk after taking a full count pitch just off the outside corner in the bottom of the sixth.
Both teams held the lead during the contest, which was tied at 5-5 after the requisite five innings.
The win for the Brewers forces a winner-take-all championship on Friday night, where the Brewers will look to hand the Dodgers just its third loss of the season.
“Just a great six innings, really,” said Brewers coach Don Robinson-Gay. “We haven’t played a six-inning game all year and to have it in the championship series against a team that is 13-1, that’s pretty special. And it goes to every kid, they all played well and contributed somehow in this win.”
Wawasee Summer League Minors
Reds 6, Mets 0
Switching gears to Wawasee, the first of its three Saturday rainouts was played Monday night in North Webster.
The Reds wasted little time putting the pressure on the Mets, and eventually shut out its rivals to stand tall as champs of the division.
Putting up three runs on the board in the bottom of the first, the Reds had Legend Baldridge help himself with an inside-the-parker to give himself some wiggle room. Baldridge would record six strikeouts in three innings of pitching work to go with his early plate heroics.
Baldridge would allow just a pair of singles to RJ Mathew in his pitching performance, which would equate to the only two runners the Mets would generate all night.
Aiding the Reds’ cause was a two-run homer from Brody Maisonneuve-Smith, three stolen bases and two runs scored from Hayden Wortinger, and a pair of spotless innings of pitching relief from James Stull.
“We really focused on improving the boys hitting throughout the season,” stated Reds coach Austin Allen. “About halfway through, the light really came on and we started rolling. By the end of the season there was not a single “easy out” in our lineup top to bottom. Brody is the perfect example of this, as he went from struggling at the bottom of the line-up to making consistent contact and hitting a homer in the championship. It was a team effort, and everyone came through when we needed them to.”