The Falls Church Kiwanis Little League’s regular season concluded on Saturday, June 13. At the Majors level, the Cubs won the regular season championship, with the Nationals grabbing the tournament championship.
The Falls Church Kiwanis Little League’s regular season concluded on Saturday, June 13.
At the Majors level, the Cubs won the regular season championship, with the Nationals grabbing the tournament championship. In the Triple A division, it was the Pirates winning both championships. For AA teams, the Rockhounds won both championships, while at the A level the Muck Dogs were regular season champs and the Raptors the tournament champions.
Nationals vs. Cubs — on Saturday, June 11, the Nationals won the Tournament Championship, 10-4, in another great match up with the Cubs.
In the first inning, Daniel Schlitt homered to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Nat’s pitcher Christopher Meador then struck out three of the next four batters to retire the side. In the second, the Cubs threatened again with a lead off a bunt single by Wesley Coupard who stole second base. After Meador struck out the next two batters, Johnny Peterson singled to center, but Coupard was thrown out at home by a great throw by Daniel Donovan and a scoop tag at the plate by the National’s catcher, Daniel Butler. In the third, the Nationals tied the score, 2-2, with a towering home run by Nate Thatcher after Meador had singled. The Cubs countered in the bottom of the third with a two-run blast by Ryan Leonard to take a 4-2 lead, but the Nationals were stopped by a Cubs rally on a double play by Matt Salvador at second base, who snagged a line drive and doubled the runner at first base.
The Nationals tied the game in the top of the fourth when a double by Butler scored runners from first and second. The score remained tied due to some key defense by the Nationals including a running catch on the right field line by Salvador. In the final frame, the Nationals bats broke it open with a lead off single by Casey Lauer, followed with hits by Salvador, Nate Jones, Butler, Thatcher and Noah Anderson. In the bottom of the sixth, reliever Donovan, who had pitched well over three innings, struck out the final three batters and sealed the victory.
Pirates vs. Mets — The Pirates won the tournament championship game on Saturday, June 13, against the Mets, by a final score of 8-4. For the first three innings, the game was neck and neck. The Mets kept up a solid defense with strong pitching by Mets Michael Parella. Pirates’ pitcher Jessica Manning showed phenomenal control, pitching a complete game and taking home a well-deserved game ball for her dominant performance. The Pirates’ defense was rock solid, highlighted by a great catch and double play by Mounir Lassili in center field, a heads up play by left fielder Christian Kelly and catcher Dylan Galt’s bullet to third to throw out a base stealer.
Pirates vs. Mets — The Pirates sealed the season championship with a 10-2 victory on June 10 over the first-half season champ Mets. The first two innings ended with a 1-1 tie in a pitcher’s duel between Pirates’ pitcher Dylan Galt (six strikeouts in two and two-thirds innings) and Mets’ pitcher Noah Galvin. Stellar fielding by both teams kept the game close. Pirates’ third baseman Nick Hutzell, who put out two batters in the first two innings, drove a double to deep right center and was knocked in by Christian Williams for the go-ahead run. Two batters later, Christian Kelly slammed a triple that rocketed off the left field fence to drive in two more runs. Stunning fielding, including a shoestring catch at first by Peter Byman and a fly ball snagged in center by Mounir Laassili put an end to the Mets’ hopes of a comeback. Coach Paul Manning’s Pirates ended the second half of the season undefeated.
Pirates vs. Dodgers — The Pirates defeated the Dodgers 12-4 in the semi-finals Friday, June 12. The game was tight through three innings thanks to a great pitching performance by Dodger pitcher Jacob Plata and solid defense, in particular Mike Williams who made a critical catch in right field. But the Pirates’ bats came alive with five runs in the fourth to pull away. Strong middle relief by Joey Handley, great outfield catches by Jessing Manning and Mounir Lassili and Christian Kelly’s heads up base running helped spark the Pirates.
Sand Gnats vs. Sidewinders — In the first round of the playoffs, the Sand Gnats defeated the Sidewinders 12-9. Pitcher Max Ashton got the Sand Gnats off to a great start with two strike outs and a great play to first baseman Mat Padgett to close the top of the first inning. Great hitting and base running put the Sand Gnats ahead early and kept the game in their favor with Jim Keegan, Jay Nesson, Max Ashton, and Hollman Smith all stealing home. Edwin Alas had a great single to put him in place to score and Eric Martin and Hollman Smith both had strong RBI-hits. The Sidewinders’ Christian Farrace pitched well, striking out several players and making a great play to Justin Genend at first base. Sidewinder Josh King hit a double to spark a late rally, but the Sand Gnats’ pitcher Erik Martin held them in check, and relief pitcher Mat Padgett stepped in to provide the final strike out, securing the victory.
Cubs vs. Orioles — The semi-final match up between the Orioles and Cubs on Monday, June 8, provided some high drama in a game marked by great pitching, stellar defense and timely hitting. The Cubs’ Johnny Peterson and Orioles’ Jamie Handley pitched well and kept the game a low scoring affair. The Orioles were led offensively by key hitting from Jake Deeley, Jack Manon, Handley, Josh Rankin, William Merchant and Douglas Boussard.
The Cubs used Daniel Schlitt’s first career home run off the left field scoreboard and two home runs by Ryan Leonard to pull even with the Orioles after a full six innings. The Orioles wasted little time in the seventh to take a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the inning. But, the Cardiac Cubs still had some energy left as Schlitt walked and Leonard singled to right with one out. Clearly, the crowd was nervous with anticipation as the Cubs’ clean up hitter, Will Iacobucci, came to the plate. Iacobucci wasted little time crushing the second pitch to deep left center for a three run walk off home run and a 9-6 Cubs victory.