CLAYTON — In the Clayton Little League Majors Division championship game, the Angels used a big four-run fourth inning to come from behind to best the Tigers for a 4-2 triumph.
A RBI triple from Aaron Haberkorn highlighted the bottom half of the fourth for the Angels who had up to that point had very little success against Tigers’ starting pitcher Isiah Brewington.
But Haberkorn’s hit to left field scored Tyler Turecky, who had led off the inning with a single, to tie the game.
A Gabriel Brunck RBI grounder was followed by Luke York’s RBI single to right field. York then scored on a wild pitch to give the Angels the 4-1 lead after four.
“When they came in [the dugout] that inning, we actually talked to the guys to take a few pitches up there,” said Angels’ assistant coach Wayne Cummings, who credited patience at the plate as being key for the big inning. “They started swinging the bats and we got a couple key hits from a couple players and some good base running to get a few runs across the plate.”
The Tigers, who used a great second half of the season to round into a form worthy of earning an appearance in the championship game, managed to get the potential game-tying run to the plate in the sixth inning only to be denied by a great defensive play.
Tigers’ starting pitcher Ty Cummings showed through the course of the first five innings that he was more than capable of making the pitches needed to give his team a chance to win.
But after back-to-back singles by Andrew Messick and Josh Cole cut the lead to 4-2, Brewington came to the plate with two outs representing the tying run and Cummings would be made to have to field his position as well.
Brewington sent a shot down the third base line that Cummings hustled over to grab barehanded before firing to first base to get Brewington by just a half-step.
The Tigers managed just four hits off of Cummings who went the distance and struck out 11 batters en route to the complete game victory.
“We played good but we just didn’t get the bats rolling like we normally do,” said Tigers’ coach David Troy. “When we hit the ball, we hit it right at their players and that was pretty much the difference in the ballgame right there.”
In addition to Messick’s and Cole’s sixth inning singles, Brewington’s double and Patrick Lillie’s base hit accounted for the Tigers’ hit output.
A heads-up base running play resulted in the Tigers’ first run in the second as Jack Harte raced all the way around from second base to score on a pitch that found its way to the backstop.
Brewington struck out five batters in five innings of work and allowed just four hits as well.
“This is the best team I’ve had by far,” said Troy of the ninth team he’s coached in the Clayton Little League. “It’s bunch of great kids with a bunch of great attitudes. We had fun.”
Turecky ended the game with two hits for the Angels with Haberkorn, Mike Orlowski and York accounting for the other hits.
“The kids came together well,” Cummings said. “They were a good bunch to coach; they listened well and were a real good team to be a part of.”