The Marysville Little League Raptors took on the Pacific Reece Homes in the semifinals of the Majors Division District One Tournament of Champions hosted by Stilly Valley Little League on June 6.
Marysville got off to a strong start in the first as they scored a run in the top of the inning and kept Reece Homes scoreless in the bottom of the same inning. Pacific wouldn’t stay down for long as they shutout the Raptors in the second inning and tied up the game 1-1 heading into third.
Over the next four innings Pacific took control from the mound and slowly put up runs on Marysville. Reece Homes scored one run in the third and two more in the bottom of the fourth inning. Their four runs were enough to earn the victory as the Raptors weren’t able to add to their first inning run. Pacific took the 4-1 win and went on to the finals of the 2019 TOC.
“After the game I let them realize that you’re not always going to win, whether that be in baseball or in life. You can’t let one bad play or mistake dictate your effort, attitude or your ability to get back up to keep working at your next opportunity. I’m super proud of them, they never gave up and played a great game,” said Marysville Little League Head Coach Mike Skarwecki.
The combination of Marysville’s pitcher, Jack Niederstat, and catcher, Owen Davis, kept the game close from beginning to end. Niederstat pitched all five innings racking up seven strikeouts while also earning a walk with two at-bats. Davis led the team with the only run of the game to go along with one single and two stolen bases.
The Raptors' infield of Cooper Agen, Cashden Sellers and Keegan Roberts also put together good performances. Agen, second baseman, wasn’t able to record a hit but showed plate discipline as he tallied two walks and a stolen base. Sellers, third baseman, joined Davis as the only other player to earn a hit on the team as he finished the day with one single. Roberts, first baseman, had three plate appearances and was able to get on base with a walk late in the game.
“I coach little league because I enjoy working with the kids to shape them into successful young men. I look forward to teaching them the game, as well as life lessons that they can take into the rest of their lives,” said Skarwecki.
Marysville Little League went on to lose to the Mill Creek Giants in the finals of the losers bracket. Mill Creek pulled an upset against Pacific as they won two games back-to-back to take the title of TOC 2019 Champions.