The Little League baseball season is official over in the Upcounty, as the boys from Germantown-based Montgomery County Little League were eliminated from the Maryland State tournament held in Easton this week.
The MoCo 11/12-year-old all-star team from District 2 finished the tournament with a 3-2 record, losing both their first and final games to another team from Montgomery County, the Bethesda Little League from District 7. On Wednesday, Bethesda bested the Upcounty team 9-3 ending the dream of going to Williamsport for the Little League World Series.
The tournament began on Saturday afternoon with the two all-star teams from Montgomery County facing off against each other in a tightly played game which was tied at four after four innings, until a costly error scored a Bethesda run in the top of the sixth.
The Montgomery County All-Stars tallied seven hits off four Bethesda pitchers. The MoCos got two hits from Jack Patterson, and one each from Nick Frazier, Josh Widenhofer, Owen Brill, and Alex Pope. Six MoCo LL pitchers held Bethesda LL to just five hits in the game.
The opening loss moved the MoCos to the “losers bracket” of the double elimination tournament, meaning it was win or go home from there on for the 11/12 all-star team from the Germantown area.
The MoCos stayed alive in the tournament defeating the all-stars from South Maryland Little League of District 4 in Anne Arundel County on Sunday. The 7-4 victory was spurred on by Nick Frazier’s three hits and two RBIs. Sean Carrier and Josh Widenhofer also contributed two hits each to the win. Jack Patterson and Christopher Wagner also had one hit each.
MoCo LL manager Todd Patterson once again spread out his pitching talent using six pitchers over six innings. Each pitcher was efficient, throwing no more than 21 pitches in an inning ensuring that they would be available to pitch again in the tournament. Nick Frazier, Matthew Keane, and Alex Pope each struck out all three South Maryland batters in the first three innings. The six MoCo pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts and walked just two in the victory.
With the win, Montgomery County advanced to play the South Caroline County all-stars from District 6 on Monday night in Easton. Montgomery County won 11-1, thanks to a great combination pitching performance from Matthew Keane and Nick Frazier. The two combined to strike out seven batters on a total of 43 pitches in the game. MoCo jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first inning scoring three runs on two sacrifice fly balls. Keane racked up four RBIs on two hits for MoCo All-Stars. He singled in the third inning and doubled in the fourth inning. Keane also looked sharp on the mound. He held South Caroline hitless over two-and-one-third innings, allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out five. Nick Fraizer pitched an inning and two-thirds, striking out two.
The MoCo offense exploded in the fourth inning. South Caroline had no answer as the District Two All-Stars scored seven runs. The damage was done by an RBI single by Jack Patterson, a two-run double by Keane, an error, an RBI double by Christopher Wagner, an RBI triple by Noah Segui, and a wild pitch.
The Monday night win allowed the MoCos to go on an offensive tear Tuesday against Rising Sun Little League from District 5, blasting the four home runs on the way to 17-10 victory. Both teams combined for 28 hits, including 12 extra base hits. The teams traded runs for most of the contest, leading to six lead changes in the game. The MoCos grabbed the lead after a third inning two-run home run by Tommy Miles, which scored Noah Segui.
The MoCo All-Stars easily handled Rising Sun pitching as six hitters combined for 12 hits and 16 RBIs. Keane homered in the first inning. However, it was the six-run fourth inning that put the game away for Montgomery County, thanks to a two-run dinger by Nick Frazier and Alex Pope’s grand slam. Two more runs in the fifth inning set up the rematch of two teams from Montgomery County in the semi-final game on Wednesday night.
While one team from Montgomery County would move on to play in the Maryland State Tournament final, it would not be the Upcounty MoCos. Two three-run innings late in the game would mean the end of the dream for the local boys in Easton.
Bethesda scored two runs in the first and another in the top of the fourth inning. The MoCos scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Josh Widenhofer smashed a two-run home run to cut the lead to 3-2.
Bethesda would come back in the fifth and score three runs. Bethesda's Michael Kennedy jacked a solo home run that put Bethesda up, 6-2, over Montgomery County in the inning. Bethesda would score three more in the top of the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth the MoCo all-stars faced just a 9-2 deficit. An RBI single by Owen Brill fueled a possible MoCo comeback cutting the lead to 9-3, but it was not to be as Bethesda was able to turn away the MoCo comeback.
Bethesda will face top-seeded Delmar in the Maryland State Championship.
“The Montgomery County All-Stars honored their community with their display of sportsmanship and class over the course of this tournament,” said Len Foxwell, president of the Easton Little League, who hosted this year’s tournament. “A special note of gratitude to the Montgomery County All-Stars, managed by Todd Patterson and coached by Greg Brill and Chris Keane. They carried themselves with manners and class throughout this entire week and in so doing represented the Germantown area, Montgomery County and District 2 with high distinction. They were a pleasure to host this week, and we sincerely hope that these players and families will be frequent visitors to Easton in the future.”
Top: Bethesda's Michael Kennedy at the plate, and preparing to blast a solo home run that has put Bethesda up, 6-2, over Montgomery County in the fifth inning of the Maryland State semifinals at North Easton Park. Photo courtesy Easton Little League.
Next: The Montgomery County Little League 11/12 All-Star team after winning the District 2 tournament. Photo courtesy MCLL.
Next: Montgomery County’s Tommy Miles playing second base during the District 2 Tournament.