Rotary 3 — Elks 1
EASTON — Timely hitting, good pitching and impeccable fielding.
The combination, which is almost as old as the game itself, usually puts a team in a good position to win. Rotary’s Little League baseball team should know.
Pearson Greenwood’s two-out single in the third inning scored what proved to be the winning run, Will Sherwood struck out 11, yielded just two hits over five-plus innings, and was backed by a flawless defense Friday night as Rotary defeated the Elks, 3-1, to win the Easton Little League championship at the North Easton Complex.
“We definitely played the best game of the season in the championship against the Elks,” Rotary manager Aaron Greenwood said. “We had stated before the game, whoever made less mistakes and hit the ball better was probably the team that was going to win between two good teams.”
Both teams appeared ready to carry a 0-0 tie into the fourth inning, as Elks starting pitcher Kayden Webb notched a strikeout and induced a groundout for two outs in the bottom of the third.
But Rotary’s Ethan Royer battled through an eight-pitch at-bat to draw a walk. Sherwood followed, hitting a grounder that was misplayed and thrown away, allowing Royer to race home with the game’s first run. Greenwood then hit a 1-2 pitch for a single that scored Sherwood for a 2-0 Rotary lead. After another walk, Webb recorded the third out of the inning on a swinging third strike.
Rotary extended its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth. Jamari Copper hit a leadoff double and advanced to third when Royer grounded out to short. Sherwood then delivered a single to score Copper.
Sherwood earned the win, surrendering one run and two singles over 5 2/3 innings.
Garrett Fink led off the Elks’ second inning with a single, but Sherwood fanned the next three batters. The Elks’ Colin Mooney hit a one-out single in the third, but again Sherwood answered, notching two more strikeouts in succession.
The Elks pushed a run across in the top of the sixth, though. With one out, Zach Burkhardt and Kayden Webb each walked. A wild pitch advanced the runners, but Sherwood got the second out with his 11th strikeout. Sherwood reached his pitch total and was relieved by Pearson Greenwood, who gave up a single to Mooney that scored Burkhardt, but came back to get a swinging strike three to end the game, and earn the save.
“Between Will and Kayden they both pitched an outstanding game,” Aaron Greenwood said. “We possibly hit the ball a little bit better than the other team did to score a couple of runs and then Will shut everybody down to pretty much win the game for us.”
Pearson Greenwood, who caught the first three innings, then played shortstop in the fourth and fifth before coming on in relief in the sixth, had eight chances in the field.
Webb pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing just two runs and striking out nine for the Elks. Fink pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief.
“Kayden Webb, outstanding performance pitching,” Aaron Greenwood said. “The Elks in general are a good team and they played as hard as our team did on the field, and left it all on the field.
“All the coaches knew that we had a chance to win the championship,” Greenwood continued. “We just had to put it all together to play as one unit, one team.”