Back Mountain National averaged more than 13 runs and won all five games by at least 10 runs on the way to the District 31 Little League Baseball 9-11-year-old championship.
The team got offensive production from all over the lineup throughout the tournament.
“Our lineup, one through 13, top to bottom and I can put any one of our subs in, I have confidence in every one of them to get the job done,” Back Mountain National manager Mike Sholtis said.
Before beating Kingston/Forty Fort, 17-5, in the championship game, Back Mountain National first had to get through a semifinal against Back Mountain American, which it defeated, 14-4.
Both games in bracket play were decided in five innings on the 10-run rule.
Back Mountain National 17
Kingston/Forty Fort 5
Back Mountain National had 16 hits to finish off the July 7 district championship game at Northwest.
Winning pitcher Chris Sholtis went 4-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored.
Kyle Chesman, Sam Finarelli, Jack Leandri, Dylan Geskey and Lucien Burkhardt all added two hits.
Back Mountain National 14
Back Mountain American 4
DALLAS – Back Mountain American held Back Mountain National scoreless for the first two innings of July 5 semifinal.
The Back Mountain National offense recovered quickly, doing all the scoring during the next 2 2/3 innings.
“It wasn’t a slow start,” National manager Mike Sholtis said. “We hit the ball hard in the first two innings. It was just baseball. They made the plays and held us scoreless for two innings.
“I just told the kids ‘you have to keep swinging.’ We kept swinging and started putting runs on the board.”
Brady Zapoticky led the attack, going 3-for-4 with a home run, double, five RBI and three runs scored.
American took a 2-0 lead after 2 ½ innings, but it was Zapoticky’s shot over the fence in straight-away center field on a 2-2 pitch with one out in the third that broke a tie and put National ahead to stay.
“Brady had a really big game,” Sholtis said of the hit that highlighted a six-run third inning. “He does have a lot of power.
“When he makes contact, the ball will fly.”
Zach Williams had a single, double and three RBI.
Williams combined with Dylan Geskey to end the game on a fielder’s choice. Williams came up with the bases loaded and National ahead by eight. He hit into a force at second base while one run was scoring. When American tried unsuccessfully to get Williams at first for a double play, Geskey kept running to score from second.
Sam Finarelli, Kyle Chesman and Chris Sholtis contributed pitching and offense.
Finarelli started and went 2 1/3 hitless innings, allowing just one unearned run. Chesman pitched next and struck out three in one official inning. Sholtis held American scoreless over the last 1 2/3 innings, getting two strikeouts in the fifth.
At the plate, Finarelli had a double, scored three times and drove in a run. Chesman drew three walks as the leadoff hitter, stole a base and scored twice. Sholtis doubled to drive in the first run and score the second run of the three-run fifth inning.
Sam Rolland went 2-for-2 with a walk and scored on a Sam Plummer RBI double for Back Mountain American.
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