Back Mountain National left little doubt about its dominance within Pool A of the District 31 Major Little League Tournament.
When Pool A of the 11-12-year-old division, the age group that advances teams on the path toward the Little League World Series in Williamsport, came down to a battle of unbeaten Tuesday night, BMN just kept on rolling.
A nine-run fifth inning brought an early end to the game with West Pittston, 15-2, wrapping up a 4-0 run through pool play by a total of 54-5. BMN allowed only six hits in the four games.
“We really have some outstanding pitchers,” BMN manager Chuck Youngman said. “ … With two lefties, there’s a lot I can do with how we combine them.”
With the semifinals set for Thursday where BMN was scheduled to take on Back Mountain American, the second-place team from Pool B, Youngman kept all his pitchers under 35 pitches so they could go into elimination play with all arms available.
Chris Killian and Ty Federici led the win, producing back-to-back home runs in the big fifth inning to help get the game to the 10-run rule, and handling the pitching duties. They teamed with Will Youngman on a four-hitter with 11 strikeouts.
Killian, who also doubled while driving in four runs from the clean-up spot in the order, started on the mound and struck out five while allowing one hit and one walk in two scoreless innings. Federici, who scored four times, struck out three and walked a batter in a scoreless fifth inning to close out the game.
Lead-off hitter Evan Zawadzki doubled and scored two runs. Youngman had a single, triple, two runs and an RBI. Mike Murray had two hits and two runs. Federici’s homer was a two-run shot.
BMN, which won the District 31 title on the way to a state runner-up finish last season, had opened the tournament last week with a 10-0 win on a combined no-hitter by Federici and Youngman, the two returnees from last year’s lineup.
Tuesday’s first-place showdown was set up when BMN followed that up with consecutive wins in which it allowed only one hit.
BMN pounded out 20 hits in just four innings to rout West Side, 19-1, July 1.
Jared Adamski, Nick Finarell and Zawadski had three hits each. Graedon Finarelli and Killian each had home runs.
Nick Finarelli, Murray and Lucas Shultz combined on a one-hitter.
Killian struck out 12 in a one-hitter June 29 when BMN defeated Exeter, 10-2.
Zawadski went 3-for-4 and had one of the team’s four home runs.
Federici hit two home runs and Killian had one.
Four Kingston/Forty Fort pitchers combined on a one-hitter during a 9-4 win over Back Mountain American June 29 in a Pool B meeting of unbeatens.
Bruce Chopyak’s three-run homer was the only BMA hit.
BMA came back to defeat Wyoming/West Wyoming, 6-3, to finish 3-1 and second in the pool, allowing it to advance.
West Pittston was scheduled to play at Kingston/Forty Fort in the other Thursday semifinal to determine the team that would face the winner of the Back Mountain showdown in Monday’s final at Pittston Twp.
Exeter defeated Harveys Lake, 15-5, July 1.
Chris Buzacka, Hunter Woods and Peyton Shaw had home runs for Harveys Lake, which finished 1-3 in Pool A.
J.J. Hood threw a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts when West Pittston topped Harveys Lake, 11-1, in five innings June 29.
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