The Little League playoffs keep on rolling, with district as well as state-level play underway right now all across the state.
In softball, the Tri-City 8-10 all-stars won the District 6 title Saturday morning in Hurlock.
“We ended up playing Talbot three times, the way the bracket worked out,” Tri-City head coach Kareem Otey said. “We won the first one, then lost the next one, but won the big game today.”
Talbot opened with a defeat of Caroline, the third team in the three-competitor bracket, and then fell 4-3 to Tri-City in the win-bracket final.
Talbot stayed alive by defeating Caroline in a rematch on Wednesday and earned a second go with a district foe, this time Friday against Tri-City in what would’ve been the championship, had Tri-City come out on top.
Instead, Talbot won, 5-4, forcing a second championship in the double-elimination bracket. Saturday morning, in that “if-then” contest, Tri-City came out on top, 6-2, to capture the banner.
The new District 6 champs, Tri-City will play next at the 8-10 state tournament, also in Hurlock, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. They’ll take on the winner of a game earlier that day between the District 5 and District 7 champs.
In state softball playoffs, the District 6 10-12 champs from Caroline County began their next level of play in Sharpsburg.
In a hard-fought opener, District 6 fell to District 8, which represents the Lower Eastern Shore, 2-0. District 6, now playing to stay alive in the double-elimination tourney, plays today at 10 a.m., and must win five in a row to take the state title.
Possible weather delays may affect that start time, though, as the schedule was getting a little backed up on Saturday night due to thunderstorms (and that wasn’t the only place that happened, as you’ll see in a moment).
Friday night, 10-12-year-old baseball began its annual District 6 tournament, hosted this year at Perry Cabin Park in St. Michaels. Both Dorchester County teams notched victories on opening night.
Cambridge rallied late to edge Caroline North/Denton, 10-9; defending district champ Tri-City defeated South Caroline in the teams’ opener, 7-3.
Cambridge advanced to the next round in the win bracket, but fell 14-4 to tournament host Homerun Baker on Saturday night.
In the other game at Perry Cabin Park on Saturday evening, Easton won its opener, 10-0, over Kent, advancing to a win-bracket game today at 6 p.m. against Tri-City.
Kent will play South Caroline at the same time in an elimination game; Cambridge, now in the loss bracket, awaits that game’s winner on Tuesday.
Defending state Senior League baseball champ Caroline kept up its winning ways Saturday in Chesapeake City in this year’s Maryland championship tournament.
Starter Kyler Boyd (1-0) got the win in Caroline’s opener, allowing a single, unearned run; the Caroline offense, which rolled through district play by scoring 39 runs in three games, was up to its old habits too.
Caroline used a pair of five-run rallies, in the top halves of the second and fifth, to turn the game into a 14-2, rout-rule defeat of District 7 champ St. Mary’s.
The District 6 champs play District 5 titlist Rising Sun at 11 a.m. in a win-bracket game; a win puts the team one victory away from the championship.
“We had eight players with 11 total hits, Kyler Boyd going 3 for 4 with a double, and Tanner Young going 2 for 4 with a double,” said Mike Willoughby, who shares head coaching chores with Warren White and Jerry Stewart. “Plus of course Jayden Watkins with the home run. We hit the ball really well today.
“It was a total, total team effort, no doubt,” Willoughby said. “I think we scored from every spot in the lineup except one, and that player (P. J. Gunther), he drove in two runs for us.
“We used four pitchers today, but the way the weather was, I think that was actually a good thing,” Willoughby added. “This weather has been rough; it’s hot, plus the humidity, it can really take it out of you. ... Hats off to our catcher today, Adam Boyles. He kept the gear on for the whole game. And even though it only went five innings, it was awfully hot.”
This was very true, especially to fans of Junior League baseball, whose district tournament opened Saturday at Lockerman Park in Denton.
During the first game, between host Caroline County and Kent County, the starting pitcher for Kent, and then the home plate umpire, had issues with the muggy, humid day.
Though Kent starter Braiden Bakeoven stayed in the game after getting overheated in the first inning, he got relieved very shortly thereafter. On the other hand, the plate umpire had to come out before the second inning began, as paramedics arrived on the scene from Denton and county emergency services to lend a hand.
Though the home plate ump left under his own power, we hope he’s doing well now. Thanks, as always, to the local EMTs, for their work.
In that first game, play resumed after a stoppage of about 35 minutes, but was suspended again later due to lightning. In the end, Kent prevailed, 12-9.
Saturday’s junior-baseball nightcap, between Talbot and Dorchester, didn’t begin until 8 p.m.. It wasn’t over at press time, and there was more weather headed that way, so the second game might not have been completed. If not, it was to be resumed at 1 p.m. today, with the winner playing Kent in the win bracket final at 3 p.m., and the loser playing to stay alive against Caroline at 6:30 p.m.
I’ll keep everyone posted in Monday’s Star Democrat, which is digital-only, as to how things progressed at the District and state levels. (I strongly encourage a digital subscription to this paper, by the way.)
A final note: Please make sure that, if you go to a game, you stay hydrated. I started feeling a little rough myself in Denton after a long day in the heat. We all think we know better until we find out we were wrong, so be smart about handling these muggy Mid-Shore summers.
* * * Little League
District 6 8-10 Softball
Talbot 5, Tri-City 4
Tri-City 6, Talbot 2 (Tri-City wins championship)
District 6 10-12 Baseball
At Perry Cabin Park, St. Michaels
Cambridge 10, CN/Denton 9
Tri-City 7, S. Caroline 3
Homerun Baker 14, Cambridge 4
Easton 10, Kent 0
Tri-City vs. Easton, 6 p.m.
S. Caroline vs. Kent, 6 p.m. (elimination game)
District 6 Jr. League Baseball
At Lockerman Park, Denton
Kent 12, Caroline 9
Talbot vs. Dorchester
*Possible Talbot-Dorchester resumption, 1 p.m.
Kent vs. Talbot-Dorchester winner, 3 p.m.
Caroline vs. Talbot-Dorchester loser, 6:30 p.m. (elimination game)
State 10-12 Softball
At Sharpsburg Little League
District 8 2, District 6 0
District 6 vs. TBA, 10 a.m. (loser eliminated; winner plays again at 7 p.m.)
State Senior Baseball
At Chesapeake City LL
District 6 14, District 7 2, 5 inn.
District 6 vs. District 5, 11 a.m.