LLL tops Pennridge
Lehigh Little League’s 10U team opened the PA District 20 Tournament with a 6-3 victory over Pennridge last Tuesday at Pennridge.
“Pennridge is typically a tough team. It’s a far trip and a small field, so that was a pressure-packed six innings of baseball,” said Lehigh 10U manager Mike Kashner. “It threw us right into the fire. A lot of the young kids, it was their first time in a situation like that.”
Two of the older Lehigh players, second baseman JT Solano and pitcher Brayden Kashner, did have previous experience against Pennridge, so the Lehigh team found it helpful that the two veterans were able to keep everything in perspective and keep everybody calm.
“They showed a lot of leadership,” Coach Kashner said.
Brayden Kashner was the winning pitcher with 12 strikeouts. Kashner gave up no runs and no hits over four innings.
“I threw a lot of fastballs, and a curveball looked really good, so I kept throwing my curveball,” Kashner said. “We lost to them in the district championship last year, so I wanted some payback.”
Lehigh jumped out to a 5-0 lead on hits by Willie Cruz, Andrew Erfle, Ben Miller, Will Cresci, Gio Sciarra, Solano, and Kashner.
Pennridge rallied in the fifth inning but a catch in left field by Mac Pavlish stopped their attempted comeback.
Pennridge also rallied in the sixth, but Cruz, who pitched the last two innings, made a diving play to his left and threw to first base from his knees for the second out of the inning.
Solano then scooped up a hard grounder that was hit to second base and threw to Kashner who was covering second from shortstop to end the game.
“It’s tough to prepare for teams. You try to tie up every aspect of your own team, have them playing the best they can, have them comfortable with each other,” said Coach Kashner.
“This team, we’ve had over 26 practices, we’ve done two-a-days, just to get them ready so that anything that could possibly go on in the game, anything that could possibly be thrown at them, we hope, as a coaching staff, that we’ve at least shown them at some point in practice so they can take a deep breath, relax, and execute.”
Also representing Lehigh on the 10U tournament team are Edgar Berrios, Cole Collins, David Dunham, Everett Frack, and Marco Sciarra.
Coach Kashner is assisted by Gordy Frack, Mark Pavlish, and Dave Cresci.