Berlin All-Stars Advance to Title Game

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BERLIN- The Berlin Little League 10-11 All-Stars inched closer to history this week, beating District 1 champion West End of Hagerstown, 6-0, on Tuesday in the semifinals to reach the finals in the Maryland State Championship in Hurlock tonight.

The Berlin 10-11 All-Stars repeated as District 8 champions to reach the Maryland State Championship tournament in Hurlock that began last week. After going undefeated in the District 8 tournament, Berlin swept through the early rounds of the state championship tournament, including an impressive 6-0 win over West End on Tuesday.

With the win on Tuesday, Berlin advanced to the finals of the state championship tournament tonight in Hurlock where they will face the winner of the other semifinal between West End and Brunswick. Because Berlin is undefeated, whichever team emerges from the other semifinal will have to beat Berlin twice with win the state championship.

Against West End on Tuesday, Berlin followed its tried and true formula of stingy pitching and clutch hitting to secure the 6-0 win and advance to the state championship. The game was scoreless through three-and-half innings before Berlin broke through in the fourth. Kevin Beck led off with a bunt single and stole second and third base. Beck then scored on a fielder’s choice to plate the game’s first run and give Berlin a 1-0 lead.

With two outs, Berlin’s Billy Wheatley crushed a three-run homer to give Berlin a 4-0 lead. Wes Powell then hit a two-run homer to extend the lead to 6-0. Meanwhile, Hayden Snelsire was outstanding on the mound for Berlin. Snelsire allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out four. Tristan McDonough came in to close out the game in relief as Berlin advanced to the title game.

The Berlin Junior League All-Stars last week won the District 8 championship and will now have the rare opportunity to win a state title on their home fields when Berlin hosts the Maryland State Junior League Championships for the first time ever starting tomorrow.

The Berlin Little League Junior All-Stars will represent District 8 in the Maryland State Junior League Championship tournament hosted by Berlin at the Northern Worcester Athletic Complex beginning Saturday. The district champions from all over the state will converge on Berlin for the state championship tournament from tomorrow, Saturday, July 21 to next Saturday, July 28.

In the District 8 championship, Berlin beat West Salisbury, 11-10, to advance. Brooks Holloway was the winning pitcher and also contributed the game-winning RBI. Sean Colgan had a triple and a single, Brendan McKenzie had a double and a single and Lane Dillon and Will Sass each singled.

The tournament gets underway tomorrow at the Northern Worcester Athletic Complex with first round games beginning at 1 p.m. As District 8 champion and host, Berlin earned a first-round bye and will play its first game on Sunday at 5 p.m. Games will played in Berlin all next week culminating with a state championship game next weekend.

The Berlin Little League Major League All-Stars lost in their District 8 championship game on Tuesday, falling to West Salisbury, 8-2.

Berlin scored early in the title game, but ran into a buzz saw in West Salisbury pitcher Grason Winterbottom the rest of the way. Berlin scored two runs in the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead. Jacob Shockley led off with a double and Steven Bontempo was hit by a pitch. The next batter, Blake Ludlam, hit a ground ball and the throw came home, but the ball sailed over the catcher allowing Shockley and Bontempo to score.

That was all the offense Berlin could muster for the rest of the game, however. Winterbottom blanked Berlin the rest of the way, allowing just two more hits. West Salisbury scored at least one run in every inning, including four in the decisive fourth, to secure the District 8 championship.

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