Kent beats Cambridge to win title
ST. MICHAELS — Cambridge kept battling until the very end Monday evening, but Kent County got the pitching it needed to win the District 6 8-10-year-old Little League baseball title via a 10-8 victory at Perry Cabin Park.
On an evening with bright sun and temperatures in the mid-90s, both teams struggled early with the first two innings taking over an hour to play. But by the final innings the temperature dropped a few degrees and Kent County reliever Noah Iacona cooled Cambridge’s attack with consistent strikes on the outside corner.
After Iacona struck out the first six batters he faced, Cambridge’s Ryan Robinson doubled to right-center and Jacob Conn was hit by a pitch with one out in the top of the sixth. They both scored on Carson Weber’s double. Blake Wheatley then walked to put the tying run on first, but Iacona fanned the final two batters to end the game.
With the victory, Kent County completed a fourgame sweep through the double-elimination tournament, producing victories over Easton, 10-9, Tri-City, 4-3, and South Caroline, 148, to reach the final.
“It was hot and everyone was tired and we decided we were going to blow out our pitching tonight,” Kent County manager Chris Pierzynski said. “So we would have been in trouble going into tomorrow. We threw our two best so they couldn’t pitch tomorrow. It worked. It was nice 10-4, I was confident, 10-8 …. we knew if we could get to Noah … umps were great, big strike zones for both teams.”
Cambridge was playing its seventh game in eight days after opening the doubleelimination tournament with an 18-4 setback to Caroline North. Cambridge fought all the way back through the tournament and reached the final with a 17-4 victory over South Caroline.
Now representing District 6, Kent County advances to the state tournament and will face District 1 (Northwest Maryland) Saturday, July 14, at 4:30 p.m. at the South Baltimore Little League Coke Fields.
Kent County scored its 10 runs in the first three innings on only three hits. Cambridge’s first two pitchers walked 11 batters and
four Kent County runners scored on wild pitches. Cambridge’s Luke Jacobson took the mound with no outs in the second and allowed only two runs (both unearned) in four innings, helped by a double play to end the fourth.
Cambridge jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the first. Noah Marshall walked, advanced to third of a pair of wild pitches, and scored on a ground out off the bat of Robinson. Justin Marshall singled and worked his way home on three wild pitches.
Kent County countered with four runs in the bottom of the first and led the rest of the game.
Iacona tripled to deep center and scored on an error to make it 2-1. Zavion Brown, R.J. Peterson, Teeter Dean, James Ball, Chase Dolgos, and Aiden Crouch then each worked walks. Ball scored on a wild pitch for a 4-2 lead.
Cambridge’s Peyton Bleyer walked with one out in the second. He took second on a wild pitch and scored from second on a walk and wild pitch to Marshall, cutting Kent County’s lead to 4-3.
Kent County answered with another four runs in the home second. Brown, Peterson, Dean, and Ball each walked and scored. Jelen Rochester (2 for 2) lined a base hit to right to knock in Ball for an 8-3 lead.
Cambridge closed within 8-4 in the third. Caden Jones walked and scored on two wild pitches, taking second and third on the first one.
Kent County then scored two important runs in the third. Iacona and Brown singled. With two outs, Brown scored on an error on a grounder from Ball. Dean, who had walked, also scored for a 10-4 lead.
Cambridge added two runs in the fourth. Marshall and Robinson walked and Jacobson doubled them home with a hit into rightcenter. Iacona then took the mound for Kent County and started his streak of six straight strikeouts.
Cambridge’s Justin Marshall scores on a wild pitch as Kent County’s Teeter Dean covers the plate in the first inning Monday evening at Perry Cabin Park in St. Michaels.