Berlin Little League All-Stars Roll to State Championship Finals

BERLIN- The Berlin Little League under-10 All-Stars continued to roll through the Maryland State Tournament this week, beating South Caroline, 18-2, on Tuesday to remain undefeated and advance to the championship round where they could have two shots to win the title.

The Berlin All-Stars cruised through the early rounds of the Maryland State Little League Championship Tournament in Brunswick in western Maryland this week, sweeping three games in impressive fashion to advance to the championship. Berlin beat Fruitland, 4-0, in the District 8 championship last week to earn the chance to represent the Eastern Shore in the state tournament in Brunswick.

In its opening round game, Berlin beat Sharpsburg, 10-7, last Saturday to advance. The Berlin All-Stars cruised past Hughesville, 12-3, on Sunday to remain unbeaten in the tournament. On Tuesday, Berlin rolled past South Caroline, 18-2, to reach the championship round. Berlin could have won the championship last night under one scenario, or could play tonight for the title under another.

Because Berlin was undefeated, they were scheduled to play the winner of the loser’s bracket final between South Caroline and Four County of District 2, which was played on Wednesday. Even if Berlin lost that “if game” last night, they would get a second chance to win the state championship tonight.

Throughout the state tournament this week, Berlin has used its tried and true formula of stingy pitching, explosive hitting and often amazing defense to advance. Against South Caroline on Tuesday, Berlin scored twice in the first inning, but South Caroline scored twice, both runs unearned, in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 2-2.

Matt Kinsey was masterful on the mound the rest of the way, allowing just those two first inning unearned runs, while scattering four hits. After the first inning, Kinsey allowed just two more base runners, one of which reached on an error and the other reached on a walk. Kinsey threw a total of 77 pitches in the contest, 50 of which were strikes.

In the fourth inning, Berlin broke open the game, scoring five times to take a 7-2 lead. Tristan McDonough led off with a single, followed by a double in the gap by Kinsey. Jack Rosenberg hit a single to drive in Kinsey and Eli Saulsbury followed with a sacrifice fly. After two Berlin batters were hit by pitches to load the bases, Hayden Snelsire banged a double off the centerfield wall to clear the bases and put Berlin up, 7-2.

In the fifth inning, McDonough led off with a home run and Billy Wheatley drove in two with a single to extend Berlin’s lead to 10-2. Finally, Berlin batted around in the sixth, scoring eight more runs to push the lead to 18-2.

With Berlin reaching the state title game, basically with two chances to win the Maryland championship, team officials this week were preparing for the opportunity to advance to the Little League World Series to be played in Rhode Island this year. If Berlin wins the state championship, which appears likely, the local league is hoping to raise the $10,000 it would take to send to team to Rhode Island in just nine days. Anyone interested in making a donation to the local league, a non-profit organization, can contact Coach Eric Snelsire at (412) 977-3882, or Bill Wheatley at (443) 614-3225.