LLL 12U wins District 20 title
Connor Martinez’s three run home run combined with Rocco Sciarra’s shutout pitching led Lehigh Little League’s 12U team to the District 20 championship in its 8-0 victory over Pennridge on Monday night at Lehigh.
“I had a good feeling when we got our first run, and you could feel the kids’ excitement at that point,” said Lehigh manager Buck Horvath.
Lehigh scored half of its runs in the third inning, the first on a line drive RBI by catcher Kam Kensicki that scored Elliot Berk who was running for Aidan Dancho after his infield single.
“Obviously when Connor hit the big three run shot, we felt pretty good, but you never want to sit on a lead because it only takes one thing to swing momentum back,” Horvath said.
With Kensicki and Nicholas Bowser on base, Martinez smashed the ball over the right field fence.
“I was really focused on what the pitcher was doing and I was trying to look for my perfect pitch and once I saw that, I smacked the ball,” Martinez said. “That was my first home run ever in an actual game, so the excitement and adrenaline got to me and I felt so happy about that.”
Pennridge left two runners on base in the bottom of the third when Sciarra forced a ground out to end the inning.
“I just wanted to throw strikes,” said Sciarra. “[Kam] said don’t worry about the runners. Just throw strikes and you’ll be good.”
Sciarra showed no signs of slowing down and pitched the whole game.
“Rocco was pitching so well today, he didn’t give them a chance, and the kids fielded the ball cleanly today,” said Horvath.
Lehigh scored the second half of its runs in the sixth inning, started off by another hard hit ball by Martinez that went past Pennridge’s left fielder for a double.
“I wasn’t worried about hitting a home run but I was doing exactly the same thing, and I kind of wanted to poke it down the line because I wanted to make sure I got to second so we got some more runners to come home too,” Martinez said. “It feels amazing, and I can’t wait to see what comes up next.”
Jaxon Horvath had a triple to right center that rolled past the outfielders, and Sciarra had an RBI base hit to right.
“I had two strikes on me, and there was a guy on base and one out, so I was trying to put the ball in play, and I saw that they were shifting over,” said Sciarra.
Justin Frey had a single to right center, and Bowser doubled to left center.
“I was trying to get used to the ump calling his strike zone, so I was thinking, ok, he’s calling the outside one, so I tried to put the ball in play on two strikes,” Frey said. “I felt really great. It helped my team a lot. I felt really excited because my goal was to win districts. We work together, we practice a lot, and hard work pays off.”
Lehigh advances to the Section 6 tournament, scheduled to begin this Saturday in Holland Township.