NANTICOKE – Back Mountain has had the most consistently successful all-star teams in District 31 Little League in recent years.
There’s no reason to believe that will change any time soon.
One year removed from a spot in the state championship game of the Little League’s showcase event, the Major Baseball Division for 11-and-12-year-olds, Back Mountain National reached the district final at that level again this year.
The players who compete with them during the regular season stepped in as district champions this year and did so with a dominant performance.
BMN wrapped up a District 31 10-11-year-old baseball title July 15 with a 13-1, four-inning rout of Northwest in the championship game at Nanticoke.
Northwest had been the only team not to lose by more than 10 runs to BMN in the tournament.
BMN defeated Back Mountain American, 18-3, in four innings in the semifinal two days earlier. It outscored opponents, 98-14, in its seven-game title run.
“They’re used to seeing good pitching,” BMN manager Bob Osipower said after the championship game win. “We have a strong town league or whatever you want to call it, so really it’s no different when we get out here for our kids than playing against the better 12-year-old pitchers in our league.”
Osipower managed largely the same group of players to a district runner-up finish last year on the 9-10-year-old level. Four players from that team wound up earning spots on the BMN Major team for its district final appearance and four younger players joined this group.
Together they formed a potent attack, averaging 14 runs per game despite often shortening games on the 10-run rule.
“The nice thing about us is start to finish in our lineup, we’re hitting the ball extremely well in every hole,” Osipower said. “It’s not like it’s just the top half.
That was evident in the final.
BMN got five hits from the middle of its order, four from the bottom third and three from the top third.
Gary Weaver and Cole Morio did the most damage from the fifth and seventh spots.
Weaver was the winning pitcher, throwing a five-hitter and not walking a batter while striking out six. He also went 3-for-3.
Morio drove in five runs, helping BMN to a 9-1 lead in the first two innings. Three of those runs came on a homer.
Nick Spencer also hit a home run.
Morio’s other hit was a two-run double. He joined leadoff hitter Bryan Osipower with two hits.
Cole Kaiser and Spencer each had three hits, scored three runs and drove in two in the semifinal romp over BMA.
Kaiser had a triple and double.
Spencer was the winning pitcher.
Osipower, Gavin Adamski, Weaver and Evan Kaiser all added two hits and Koehl Comiskey homered.
Liam Hite led BMA with a double and two RBI.
All the success created a busy time at the Back Mountain Little League Field. After playing Thursday’s openers at Mountain Top, BMN was scheduled to host the rest of the Section 5 tournament where the winner can advance to the state tournament July 29-August 4 at Mount Union.