Headed to Bristol
Hughesville 11-12 baseball downs Delmar to claim state championship
After winning an 8-7 nail-biter over Laurel of Prince George’s County two days prior, the Hughesville Little League baseball team powered itself to a 12-5 victory over Delmar to capture the 11- to 12-yearold Little League state championship on Thursday evening at Robert D. Stethem Memorial Park in Waldorf.
The game was halted in the bottom of the sixth with two outs due to the heavy rain and thunderstorms.
Hughesville, the District 7 champions which won three straight games in the state tournament, now advances to the 2016 Little League Baseball Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Bristol, Conn. It will open the seven-day regional tournament with state champion Pennsylvania at 10 a.m. Sunday.
“This is my first trip to regionals,” Hughesville manager Chester Bowling said. “I’ve been coaching Hughesville for five or six years and I’ve watched most of these kids growing up. They are just a good group to coach and it should be up a lot of fun to continue our run up to Bristol.”
Delmar gave Hughesville all it could handle in Thursday’s state title affair. Wth the score tied at 4, Hughesville exploded for eight runs in the top of the fifth to put the game away, sparked by two home runs by from Tyler Quade in the same inning.
Hughesville had four home runs in the contest.
Quade led off the fifth with a solo homer over the right-field fence off of pitcher Jaden Shelton to put Hughesville up 5-4.
“At first I wasn’t seeing the ball very well, but it was pretty cool to get back-to-back homers,” said Quade, who did not get a hit in his first two at-bats. “This is once-in-alifetime opportunity and I can’t wait to go to regionals with my team. I think we can go all the way as long as we have hot bats and our pitching stays on point.”
With two outs, Allen
Miller drove in Anthony Owens on a bases-loaded single to push the lead to two runs.
An errant throw behind home plate and another overthrown ball at third, brought Tyler Vallandingham, Cole Harkness and Miller to home plate to extend the Hughesville lead to 9-4.
Three batters later and still with two outs, Quade was back up at bat again and this time hit a threerun home run over the right-field wall to cap off the scoring in the inning for Hughesville, which collected five of its 11 hits in the inning.
Hughesville starting pitcher Blake Pesante struck out 10 batters, surrendering just two earned runs on five hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Pesante also finished 3 for 4 at the plate, including an RBI double in the top of the first for Hughesville’s first run of the game and a two-run homer in the third that gave it a 3-2 lead.
“I just wanted to change the speeds of my pitches so that the hitters could not get used to my fastball,” he said. “I’m looking forward to this experience to share with my teammates.”
After Alex Borges’ solo home run pushed things to 4-2, Delmar tied the game at 4 as Gavin Gray and Jaryn Sample scored after a throw from catcher Chet Bowling behind home plate deflected off the umpire stemming from a wild pitch by Pesante.
Hughesville Little League captured the 11- to 12-year-old Maryland state baseball championship on SUBMITTED PHOTO