BERLIN- While the Berlin Little League Intermediate team is making its way through the World Series in California this week, the 9-10 team is ready to embark on a potential run through the Mid-Atlantic region tournament, which gets underway tomorrow in Rhode Island.
The 9-10 team breezed through the District 8 tournament sweeping six games to capture the title. In the district tournament, the 9-10 went 6-0, outscoring its opponents by a combined score of 80-7, including three shutouts plus two games in which they allowed two runs or fewer. Berlin beat Fruitland, 7-2, in the district championship game nearly two weeks ago to move on the state tournament.
In the Maryland tournament, Berlin continued its unbeaten streak, sweeping four games to take the state championship last week. Manager Eric Snelsire’s team beat its four opponents in the state tournament by a combined 54-14, including a 9-4 win over Valley in the title game. The win over Valley improved Berlin’s post season record to 10-0 and advanced the team to the Little League 9-10 Mid-Atlantic region tournament in Cranston, R.I., which gets underway tomorrow.
Because Berlin clinched its state championship in short order, the team has had to wait nearly two weeks for the start of the Mid-Atlantic region tournament in Rhode Island. In the state championship game against Valley, Berlin led 6-2 in the bottom of the third and 7-4 in the bottom of the fifth. Valley threatened to make it a close game, but Berlin added two more runs to pull away for the 9-4 win.
While the core group of the 9-10 team will remain together in future years, there will likely be some split next year as the 10-year-olds move up and the nine-year-olds remain at the same level. Like the Intermediate team, which has now won four straight district titles and four straight state championships, the core group will reunite in future age brackets, continuing the run of success for the Berlin Little League program.
Berlin will begin pool play with a game against Connecticut on Saturday, followed by another game with New Jersey on Sunday. After a day off on Monday, Berlin will face Delaware on Tuesday, New York on Wednesday, and Pennsylvania on Thursday. Depending on how pool play goes, Berlin could play in the Mid-Atlantic championship game next Friday.
Should Berlin win the Mid-Atlantic tournament, it would face the winner of the New England tournament next Sunday. The winner of that game will win the Eastern Region championship, which is the ceiling for the 9-10 level. After clinching the state championship last week, Berlin has been practicing almost daily in anticipation of the Mid-Atlantic tournament.