Dorch­ester teams win Dis­trict 6 ti­tles

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By DAVID INSLEY dins­ley@star­dem.com

The Tri-City 8-10 soft­ball all-stars and the Dorch­ester Ju­nior League base­ball team each won Dis­trict 6 cham­pi­onships and earned a state tour­na­ment berth along with the Dorch­ester Ju­nior League soft­ball al­ls­tars.

DEN­TON — For five in­nings, ev­ery­one was chewing their nails as a close bat­tle un­folded be­tween the Dorch­ester and Talbot Ju­nior League base­ball all-stars on Tues­day at Lock­er­man Park.

Then came the win-bracket cham­pi­ons’ seven-run sixth, which helped carry Dorch­ester to a 9-1 vic­tory and the Dis­trict 6 ti­tle.

Dorch­ester (3-0) ad­vances to the state tour­na­ment, where it is sched­uled to play the Dis­trict 3 cham­pi­ons from Wash­ing­ton D.C. area on July 20 at 1 p.m. at Stethem Park in Wal­dorf.

Talbot, which elim­i­nated the other two teams in the tour­na­ment, Caro­line and then Kent County, on Sun­day and then Mon­day night, fin­ished 2-2.

“Knowing we had beat them be­fore, I felt like we had a good chance of do­ing it again,” Dorch­ester man­ager Bill Creighton said. “We just had to play like we did the first time.

“We knew we had plenty of pitch­ing,” Creighton added. “I had five more arms I could use if I needed to.”

Right-han­der Jaiden Brooks was the arm Dorch­ester re­lied on early against Talbot south­paw An­thony Mas­soro.

Dorch­ester got on the board in the top of the first when lead­off hit­ter Ja­mar­ion Wongus drew the first of his team’s eight walks. He stole sec­ond two pitches later, and with one out, stole third. Matt Corkran then sin­gled into shal­low right field, scor­ing Wongus to make it 1-0.

Devin Rottman’s in­field sin­gle, fol­lowed by a dou­ble-steal, put two in scor­ing

po­si­tion with one out. But Mas­soro ended the threat with back-to-back strike­outs. He fin­ished with five strike­outs over 5 1/3 in­nings.

Talbot an­swered in the bot­tom of the in­ning. Kyle Miller sin­gled to left with one out, and af­ter Reilly Gil­li­gan and Jack Townsend loaded the bases with two-out base hits, Brooks hit Jonah Rich with a pitch, forc­ing Miller home to make it 1-1.

Brooks got the next bat­ter to ground into an in­ning-end­ing force play, as Dorch­ester third base­man Talan Mid­dle­ton snagged the ball and jumped on the bag.

It re­mained rel­a­tively quiet for the next three in­nings, though each team threat­ened to break the dead­lock. Dorch­ester put two in scor­ing po­si­tion in the sec­ond, had two on with two out in

the third, and pushed a run­ner to third with two down in the fourth.

But Mas­soro got the clutch out each time. Mas­soro got Brooks to pop out in the sec­ond to end that pos­si­ble rally, watched left fielder Gil­li­gan reel in a fad­ing line drive in the third to take a hit from Mid­dle­ton and save at least one run, then fanned Brooks to end the fourth.

Brooks also dealt with base run­ners. Dy­lan Fink led off Talbot’s sec­ond with a sin­gle to right, but was caught steal­ing. Brooks then walked Ethan Mo­bareck and Kyle Miller with two down, but got Ian Branic to foul out to first.

A lead­off walk to Gil­li­gan in the Talbot third was erased by an in­ning-end­ing dou­ble play. Mas­soro reached on an er­ror to be­gin the home fourth, stole sec­ond, but was re­tired short of third. No Talbot run­ner reached third af­ter the open­ing in­ning.

Dorch­ester took the lead

for good in the top of the fifth. Corkran led off with an in­field hit, and stole sec­ond. Rottman reached on an er­ror at short, that kept Corkran at sec­ond. Jor­dan Hard­ing (sin­gle, run, two steals) flew out to cen­ter for the first out. Mid­dle­ton hit a chop­per that Talbot short­stop Fink made a lung­ing stop on and fired to third to get Corkran. Daniel Hes­son then stepped to the dish.

“You al­ways want to hit the ball,” Hes­son said. “The one I hit was a fast­ball.”

Hes­son slapped a shot to right field, just over sec­ond base­man Miller.

“When I saw that, you know, you’ve got to try to score,” Rottman said. “And Coach (Creighton) waved me home.”

Rottman’s run made it 2-1, Dorch­ester, but Mas­soro in­duced an in­ning-end­ing ground­out.

Dorch­ester then ran away in the sixth.

Brice Bradley sin­gled to right field and moved to sec­ond when the ball got past the out­fielder. Wongus fol­lowed with a sac­ri­fice bunt, and Brooks (two RBIs) sin­gled to plate Bradley. Corkran hit a grounder that was missed at short and in left field, putting Brooks at third and Corkran at sec­ond. A wild pitch scored Brooks to make it 4-1.

Mas­soro, who reached his 95-pitch limit, was re­lieved by Miller. Rottman walked and stole sec­ond. Hard­ing then fol­lowed with a sin­gle to plate Corkran. Mid­dle­ton walked. Talbot brought in its sec­ond re­liever of the in­ning and Hes­son walked.

RBI walks to Jimmy Creighton and Bradley ex­tended the lead to 7-1. The 38-minute half-in­ning ended when Gil­li­gan re­tired Corkran on a fly ball to cen­ter, leav­ing the bases loaded and light­en­ing the mood in Dorch­ester’s dugout.

“Oh, it was a whole lot eas­ier on us af­ter that,” Hes­son said. “You didn’t feel all that stress.

“Be­fore that, it was all, ‘gotta get a hit, gotta score, gotta do this, gotta do that,’” Rottman said, “But af­ter it, you could just play, re­lax a lit­tle. We knew we had it then.”

Bradley, on in re­lief since the bot­tom of the fifth, notched four strike­outs in the fi­nal two frames. First base­man Hes­son caught a pop out for the last out.

“This is great for us,” Hes­son said. “I’m glad to be go­ing to states.”

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

The Dorch­ester Ju­nior League base­ball team won the Dis­trict 6 ti­tle on Tues­day, July 9, by de­feat­ing Talbot, 9-1. Dorch­ester plays July 20 at 1 p.m. at Stethem Park in Wal­dorf against the Dis­trict 3 champs to open its state-tour­na­ment run.

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

Dorch­ester start­ing pitcher Jaiden Brooks pitched four in­nings plus one bat­ter Tues­day, earn­ing the win as his team de­feated Talbot, 9-1. Brooks also scored a run, sin­gled, and had two RBIs in the vic­tory.

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