Elk-McKean wins to move to 1-1 in Ohio

Staff Writer

The Elk-McKean (E-M) All-Stars bounced back from Thursday’s 6-5 loss to Andy’s Niners to dominate the Bat Cage Bulldogs 8-0 Friday, to even their mark at 1-1 at the 17-and under All-American Showcase being played in Ohio. A win Saturday vs. the Brownlee Lookouts (2:30 p.m.) would advance the team to Sunday’s championship round.
Dalton Stahli was superb in his four innings of work. Collin Porter finished things in the top of the fifth. Two runs in the bottom of the inning secured the E-M victory due to the tourney’s 8-run rule. Stahli struck out three while allowing three harmless hits. Porter had a strikeout while giving up a hit. The two did not walk a batter and only two Bat Cage runners advanced as far as second. Three opening inning walks by Bulldog pitcher Logan Graham paved the way for the first three Elk-McKean runs. Aiden Zimmerman drew a lead-off walk and with one out Ethan Wells drew a base on balls. Carson Whitman followed with a base hit loading the sacks. Camron Marciniak walked bringing Zimmerman home. Bat Cage first baseman Will Hirsh was unable to handle a ground ball off the bat of Kaden Dennis scoring Wells. Domenic Allegretto’s sacrifice fly to center scored Whiteman. Caden Smiley who was hit by a pitch in the first opened the fourth with a base hit. Reece Novosel reached on an error and Luke Zimmerman on a base hit. Smiley and Novosel scored on a base hit by Aiden Zimmerman. His brother Luke made it 6-0 scoring on a beautiful sacrifice by Stahli. Elk-McKean ended the game with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Porter opened the inning with a base hit and scored on a double by Dennis. Allegretto followed with a hit chasing Graham off the hill. Griffin Mitchell intentionally walked Smiley loading the bases in the hopes of a game-saving out at home. His first pitch to Novosel was off target bringing Dennis home ending the day.
Dennis had two hits including the double, drove in one run, and scored. Aiden Zimmerman had a hit, scored and had two RBI. Whiteman had a hit and scored, Allegretto a hit, sacrifice and RBI, Luke Zimmerman a hit and run, and Novosel crossed the plate. Stahli drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Marciniak was credited with an RBI with his first-inning walk, Whiteman ended a potential Bulldog threat in the second. He fielded a shot to third, stepped on the bag and threw to Dennis to end the inning. Graham, TC Mattern, Nic Fartelly, and Sean Gorze had the hits for Bat Cage who hails from Brunswick, Ohio.
Following the loss to the Niners Thursday, E-M Manager Casey Zimmerman felt despite the defeat his team was ready to make a run. “That’s the performance we’ve all been waiting for,” he said after the win. Sitting at the hotel [Thursday] night I just had this feeling watching the kids all together playing cornhole and spike ball and having fun that things were ready to gel. They came out and performed well on the field so we’re all in high spirits and ready to keep rolling.”
With a win Saturday E-M will advance to the championship round on Sunday. The tourney is made up of two pools. Andy’s defeated Brownlee 9-5 yesterday to move to 2-0. Andy’s plays the Bulldogs today, but hold the advantage over E-M because of their win Thursday. The first tie-breaker in the four-team pools is head-to-head. A win would give the locals the second spot in Pool A which would pit them against the number one team in Pool B. Premier Ohio is 2-0, Aces Elite, and CBF are 1-1, and the Pittsburgh Titans are 0-2 in Pool B. “We’re not looking ahead but we know a win will give us something to play for Sunday,” Zimmerman. The number-one finishers in each pool will face the number-two from the other pool to advance to the Championship game set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The losers of the semi-final games will play for third.
Elk-McKean includes the players from the 2018 Junior Little League and 2019 Senior Little League Pennsylvania champions. The squad is made up of players from Ridgway, Johnsonburg, Wilcox, and Kane.
Saturday's game will be aired on WDDH, 97.5 FM, The Hound.