Back Mountain National takes D31 crown

By John Erzar - jerzar@timesleader.com
Back Mountain National’s Mike Timinski hits a two-run single to left field ahead of Back Mountain American catcher Evan Kaiser in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National’s Jude Nocito claps after arriving at third base as Back Mountain American shortstop Seth Berry backs up the play in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Back Mountain American starting pitcher Logan Sakulich throws to first base for an out against Back Mountain National in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Back Mountain American right fielder Tucker Chesman fields a Back Mountain National single in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Back Mountain National starter Mike Cumbo threw a one-hitter with nine strikeouts in the 11-0 victory. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

DURYEA — For three innings Monday, Back Mountain American gave Back Mountain National quite a battle.

That in itself was a significant considering National’s track record entering the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship game.

Then, as has been the case throughout the tournament, National’s bats ignited and another lopsided victory was the result.

National scored five times in both the fourth and fifth innings to defeat American 11-0 in five innings for the title and a spot in the Section 5 tournament.

National will play the District 32 champion, either Green Ridge or North Scranton, at 5:45 p.m. Friday in its sectional opener. District 16 champion Pittston City/Duryea will host the entire sectional playoffs. PCD defeated Plains 6-5 in the nightcap of the doubleheader at the Duryea Little League.

“These kids have been playing together for the last four or five years,” National manager Gary Peters said. “This is pretty much the core group of players that started out as 9-10s and, in the state, finished fifth. Last year as 10-11s, we finished third in the state with the same core group of kids.”

National defeated its previous five opponents by a combined score of 73-2. So going into the fourth inning clinging to a 1-0 lead was uncommon. National pitcher Mike Cumbo and American pitcher Sakulich were in a pitching duel to that point. Cumbo was working on a perfect game, while Sakulich had allowed one hit, and the only run against him was unearned due to an error.

Sakulich, though, had thrown nearly twice as many pitches as Cumbo entering the fourth, and the National bats started to heat up. Sam Barrouk opened the inning by bouncing a single to right. Jude Nocito followed with a bunt single.

Consecutive walks to Kaden Coyne and J.J. Rischawy forced in National’s second run of the game. Mike Timinski then came off the bench and dropped a two-run single into left field. Gavin Adamski’s groundout and Zach Paczewski’s sac fly brought in the final runs for a 6-0 lead.

Five more runs scored in the fifth, three on Paczewski’s bases-loaded triple to the right-center gap and one each on singles by Adamski and Barrouk.

The 11 runs were more … much more … than enough for Cumbo. He allowed one hit — an infield single to Evan Kaiser deep in the shortstop hole in the fourth. Paczewski, the National shortstop, made an incredible throw to first on the hit and just missed getting Kaiser out.

No matter. Cumbo retired the next three American hitters and finished the game with his ninth strikeout.

“We didn’t play the way we needed to against a quality opponent like that,” said American manager Spencer Chesman, whose team finished 4-2 in the tournament. “You can’t give them anything and we gave them a few and kept a couple innings going and it ended up being our demise.”

District 31 Major Baseball Championship

Back Mtn. National 11, Back Mtn. American 0 (5 inn.)

BMN`AB`R`H`BI

Adamski c`4`1`2`2

Peters 3b`3`1`1`1

Kugler 3b`0`0`0`0

Paczewski ss`2`1`1`4

Cumbo p`2`0`0`0

Barrouk 1b`3`1`2`1

Hinsdale 1b`1`0`0`0

Nocito 3b`3`3`1`0

Coyne lf`1`1`0`1

Burkhardt cf`2`0`0`0

Rischawy cf`0`1`0`1

Lisman rf`1`1`0`0

Timinski rf`1`1`1`2

Totals`23`11`8`11

BMA`AB`R`H`BI

L.Tirpak cf`2`0`0`0

Berry ss`1`0`0`0

Watkins ph`1`0`0`0

Kaiser c`2`0`1`0

Casey 1b`2`0`0`0

Aiello 3b`2`0`0`0

Fenster 2b`1`0`0`0

Calvey ph`1`0`0`0

Sakulich p`1`0`0`0

Sowga ph`1`0`0`0

M.Tirpak lf`1`0`0`0

Chesman rf`1`0`0`0

Totals`16`0`1`0

E — BMA 3. LOB — BMN 7, BMA 1. 3B — Paczewski. SAC — Coyne. SF — Paczewski.

Back Mtn. National`010`55 — 11

Back Mtn. American`000`00 — 0

BMN`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Cumbo W`5.0`1`0`0`0`9

BMA`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Sakulich L`3.0`4`6`5`2`4

L.Tirpak`1.0`0`0`0`2`0

Casey`1.0`4`5`5`2`1

Back Mountain National’s Mike Timinski hits a two-run single to left field ahead of Back Mountain American catcher Evan Kaiser in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D31BMN-BMA_1-1.jpgBack Mountain National’s Mike Timinski hits a two-run single to left field ahead of Back Mountain American catcher Evan Kaiser in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National’s Jude Nocito claps after arriving at third base as Back Mountain American shortstop Seth Berry backs up the play in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D31BMN-BMA_2-1.jpgBack Mountain National’s Jude Nocito claps after arriving at third base as Back Mountain American shortstop Seth Berry backs up the play in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Back Mountain American starting pitcher Logan Sakulich throws to first base for an out against Back Mountain National in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D31BMN-BMA_4-1.jpgBack Mountain American starting pitcher Logan Sakulich throws to first base for an out against Back Mountain National in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Back Mountain American right fielder Tucker Chesman fields a Back Mountain National single in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D31BMN-BMA_5-1.jpgBack Mountain American right fielder Tucker Chesman fields a Back Mountain National single in the District 31 Little League Major Baseball championship in Duryea on Monday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Back Mountain National starter Mike Cumbo threw a one-hitter with nine strikeouts in the 11-0 victory.
https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_TTL071018D31BMN-BMA_3-1.jpgBack Mountain National starter Mike Cumbo threw a one-hitter with nine strikeouts in the 11-0 victory. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By John Erzar

jerzar@timesleader.com

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar