KAU wins Junior League East regional

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By John Sorce, Special To The Times

The KAU Junior League baseball team won the East Region and will advance to the Junior League World Series.

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ – KAU Kennett Square Little League won the Junior League Baseball East Regional Tournament Championship at Michael J Tighe Park on Wednesday afternoon in by defeating Ossining Little League from New York by a score of 15-5 in a six inning 10 run rule game.

“This is an unbelievable feeling,” KAU manager Matt Patterson said after the game. “This team has worked so hard for many years. Our players are amazing, our coaching staff is amazing, and our league support has been amazing. We had a huge crowd here today who traveled two hours to be here for the final game. This was a culmination of a lot of things. Our pitching, fielding and hitting has been solid all the way through and the many years of commitment and dedication from the players and the coaching staff that we have has paid off.”

KAU scored two runs in each of the first four innings. In the top of the first, Nick Patterson doubled to right-center field. He stole third and scored on a passed ball. Daniel Kane singled and scored from first base on a double to center field by Louis Sharp.

With one out in the second, Scott Hansen was hit by a pitch and scored from first on a double by leadoff hitter Jack Regenye, who scored on a single by Patterson to give KAU a 4-0 lead.

New York got on the board in the bottom of the second. Kyle Monaghan walked with two out, stole second and scored on a single by Massimo Stinziani.

Kane led off the top of the third for KAU with a single and advanced to third on a throwing error that allowed Sharp to reach safely. Sharp stole second and an errant pickoff attempt at third base allowed Kane to score and Sharp to advance to third. He later scored on a groundball to short.

New York narrowed the deficit to 6-3 with a two run bottom of the third. Aidan Curry singled with one out and took second on a throwing error. He advanced to third on a single by Joey Bossinas and scored on a groundball to short. Bossinas scored on a single by Tej Verma.

Patterson singled with one out in the top of the fourth for KAU which set up Patrick Methlie’s two-run home run to straightaway center field, over the 340 foot sign, to extend the KAU lead to 8-3.

After Patterson flew out to center to lead off the top of the sixth, the wheels started to come off for a New York team that was playing its fourth game in two days. Methlie doubled, Kane reached on an error and Sharp walked to load the bases. The next two batters walked in runs and Hansen drove in two more unearned runs as he reached safely on a fielding error. Thomas Edmonds walked to load the bases again and Regenye and Patterson walked to plate two more runs. Methlie grounded out to short, allowing the runner on third base to score the final run as Kane flew out to right, ending a seven run inning and giving KAU a convincing 15-3 lead.

New York added two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Curry and Bossinas walked with two out which allowed Dan Galef to come to the plate. He delivered with an RBI single that plated Curry. Jack DeAngelis followed up with a double to score another run, putting runners on second and third and making the score 15-5. A walk to Verma loaded the bases, but Nicholas Cascione grounded out to third base with the ten run rule still intact, ending the game after six innings.

Methile got the start for KAU and threw 5.1 innings. He scattered three runs on eight hits. He also went 2-for-4 at the plate with a home run to center field and two runs batted in.

“He’s our number one,” Patterson said. “He’s a big kid who throws a nasty curveball to keep hitters off balance and locates with his fastball. We told him this was his game today and he threw 5.1 innings. When we have a big game, he gets the ball.”

The KAU All-Stars have gone 15-0 throughout play this summer and they look to keep their winning ways going in the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Michigan that takes place from August 13-20. Their first game will be at 4 p.m. on Monday, August 14 against the winner of Abilene, Texas and Encinitas, California.

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