Rising Sun wins Junior Baseball District 5 crown
NORTH EAST— Rising Sun wanted to apply pressure on the Chesapeake City defense in an effort to create offense during the Junior Baseball District 5 title game Sunday at North East Little League.
That pressure was most evident in the fourth inning as Rising Sun took advantage of three Chesapeake City errors, four walks and a hit-by-pitch to explode for six runs to take the lead and romp to a 14-4 six-inning victory and a district championship.
“We wanted to be disciplined at the plate and take pitches. I don’t think that was a secret. We wanted to stay up in the count,” Rising Sun manager Clayton Gilcher said. “We knew he threw hard, and all we wanted to do is put balls in play and make them make errors. That’s what we did. It worked.”
Rising Sun entered the fourth inning trailing 4-3, but three walks to the first four batters of the frame loaded the bases with one out for Jon Valentine, who hit a line drive that the first baseman could not handle, allowing Valentine to reach and force in the tying run.
Jared Stanley then drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to center, before Nate Husfelt walked to load the bases. Two more runs then scored on Mason Craig’s infield single and subsequent throwing error.
The final two runs of the inning came after a dropped fly ball off the bat of Luke Hamm to make it 9-4.
“We put the bat on the ball and put it in play to make things happen,” Hamm said.
After scoring one more run off an error in the top of the fifth, Rising Sun put the game out of reach in the sixth with four more runs. Joey Husfelt scored on an error, Hamm scored on a J.J. Psenicski single, Willie Jackson scored on a Valentine walk, and Nate Wassin scored on a groundout.
It proved to be plenty of run support for Stanley, who pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk. After he gave up four runs in the second inning, he settled down and allowed just two hits the rest of the way.
Stanley knew he had to get back into rhythm on the mound because Rising Sun was short-handed in terms of pitching depth.
“I knew if I wanted to win that I had to pitch well because we were running out of pitchers after me,” Stanley said. “I tried to do the best I could and go out there and shut them down.”
The win completes a difficult road to the district title for Rising Sun, which had no margin for error after losing the first game of the tournament to Elkton on July 9.
“It feels great. It was definitely a goal of ours to play out of the loser’s bracket. Here were are, and if you told me we would be here, I’d call you crazy,” Gilcher said. “Here we are, we did it again. It feels great.”
Rising Sun celebrates its 14-4 victory in six innings over Chesapeake City in the District 5 Junior Baseball title game on Sunday.