SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA – The day of the solar eclipse began with an early lead for the team from the West, representing Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. They would only see this lead in this time throughout the whole game. The game took a large turn of events and play would be stopped as clouds settled over Lycoming Valley for some time. A large storm had many fans heading for pavilions, bathrooms, gift stores, tents and ramps under the stadium and a heavy downpour would occur for the next hour. The game was put into a rain delay at 3:24pm and would resume play at 4:41pm eastern time.
The Mid-Atlantic team from Jackson, NJ would come out with full force as play resumed. R.J. Vashey’s home run fueled a fire that lit beneath the team and fan base and took the team to a 1-1 tied game. Charlie Meglio would add another home run two batters later and make the score 3-1 to end the inning. While the west saw out within the next inning, the third inning was like a long victory lap for the New Jersey team. Sashay stepped up to the plate and yet again hit another home run which would send the game into a 5-1 lead over the West. The coaching staff did some batting changes and sent Anthony Abbonizio, Chris Andrews, Tai Mann, Chris Cartnick, J.R. Osmond all to the plate. Each recorded hits. After good base running, the score was sent to 12-1 Mid-Atlantic by the end of the inning. Throughout the inning there were no pitching changes.
The lead filled a fire for comeback for California as Drew Rutter, Joey Gray, Mason Kellerman, and A.J. Gamulao would add to a score for the west and make the game 12-6. During this inning two pitching changes occurred between Dean Daddio and Chris Cartnick. The fourth and fifth inning went by in a more rapid pace due to many strikeouts at the home plate and good defense from the infield and outfield of New Jersey and California. Tommy Woods would be involved in a pitching change that helped the west out. The final inning of the game involved a comeback that had Mid-Atlantic fans on the edge of their seats. Both Tyler Ankrum and Bobby Gray of the west were walked to the plate and two wild pitches added to stolen bases at the west scored to make the game 12-9 with Drew Rutter having a two-base hit, two RBI. Joey Gray and Drew Rutter would advance with Rutter scoring. Joey Gray and Mason Kellerman both tagged out in a serious double play with A.J. Gamulao tagged out at first base to send the game with a final score of Mid-Atlantic 12, West 9.
The Mid-Atlantic will play tomorrow night in Lamade Stadium at 7:30pm on ESPN against the winner of the Northwest/New England game scheduled for 8pm tonight. The West will head back to California after a great run in the Little League World Series.