It’ll be Wyoma Red Sox vs. Lynn Shore Braves in City Series final

Pine Hill falls Sunday after stunning comeback against West Lynn a day earlier

From left, Pine Hill's Stevie Pedro, David Brown and Chris Champa celebrate the final out in Saturday's win over West Lynn. The Hillies fell Sunday, however, to Wyoma.

LYNN — The Pine Hill Reds staged a 10-run rally to win their game Saturday and earn the right to play the Wyoma Red Sox Sunday for a spot in the City Series final. However, the Reds’ bats were as silent Sunday as they were loud the day before. Jack Anderson of the Red Sox shut them down, allowing only one run in a 3-1 victory at Kiley Park. As a result, it’ll be the Red Sox and the Lynn Shore Braves this evening (5:45) at Kiley. Should Wyoma win, there will be a winner-take-all game Tuesday. If the Braves win, they are the champs. “I knew this would be a pitchers’ duel,” said Wyoma manager Rick Anderson. “We had our two No. 1s going, and I told (Pine Hill manager) Rich Avery that whichever team got to three runs, or something like that, would win the game.”  Wyoma got off on the right foot in the first inning when Shea Palmer hit a David Brown pitch out of the park to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. Wyoma scored two more in the third, with pitcher Jack Anderson coming home on a wild pitch and Palmer coming home on an error. Pine Hill got a run in the bottom of the sixth, scoring on a fielder’s choice. Anderson went all the way for Wyoma. “Thankfully,” his father said, “he kept his pitch count down.” Brown lasted into the sixth inning, with Richie Avery finishing up. A day earlier, the Reds went into the sixth inning facing a 5-run deficit and elimination. But they put up a 10-spot in and topped West Lynn, 18-13. “It was great. We kept telling them not to get down, sometimes that’s tough as 12-year-old kids, being down eight runs,” Rich Avery said. “But that just shows how these kids are. They’re all great kids, and they fought the whole game.” West Lynn scored in each of the first four innings, including a 7-run fourth, while the Reds scored in every inning but the first. The Red Sox struck first in the bottom of the first, as Almani Gerardo doubled to open the frame. He came around on Omri Merryman’s two-run home run to center, giving West Lynn a 2-0 lead. Pine Hill got it right back in the second, as West Lynn pitcher Nick Gallo struggled with command early and walked the bases loaded with no outs. Nate Sisson brought in a run on a sacrifice fly, and Gallo fanned the next batter. But the Reds wouldn’t go down quietly, and took the lead on a single from Stevie Pedro. Later that inning, with the bases loaded, Chris Champa drew a two-out walk to make it 4-2 Pine Hill. Gallo struck out the final batter of the inning. West Lynn reclaimed the lead in the home half, as a bases-loaded walk brought home Matt Carrillo, who singled to start the inning. Merryman came through with another clutch hit, giving West Lynn a 5-4 lead with a two-run single. Nevin Gonzalez grounded into a RBI fielder’s choice to make it 6-4, Ben Marciano made it 7-4 with a single, and Carrillo knocked in a run with his second hit of the inning. Marciano came around on an error, and the Red Sox had a 9-4 lead before all was said and done in the second. Pine Hill scratched across a run in the third on Sisson’s RBI groundout, but just as the Reds inched closer, the Red Sox pulled away again. A Gonzalez double and Gallo single to made it 12-5 in the third. Again, Pine Hill chipped away, as a Champa RBI groundout got the Reds within six. West Lynn responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth as Merryman was hit with a pitch with the bases loaded. Down by seven, the Reds were running out of time to make up ground. In the fifth, Pine Hill pushed two runs across. Pedro knocked in a run with a groundout, and David Brown singled to make it 13-8 Red Sox. Pitching and defense were inconsistent for both teams throughout the game, but the Reds played strong defense and got shut-down pitching when it mattered most. With one out and the bases loaded in the fourth, after Merryman was hit by a pitch Pine Hill’s Richie Avery took over for Sisson, who relieved starter Chevalier in the second. Avery got two groundouts to escape further damage. He then came out and got the first two outs of the fifth, allowing one hit. Then it was up to Brown to shut the door. He got the final out of the fifth, setting the stage for the comeback. The Reds took advantage of an error and two walks to start the inning. Pedro’s double brought Pine Hill within three, and two more walks, including an intentional bases-loaded pass to Brown, brought the Reds within two. Then the floodgates opened. Walks to Champa and Will McCaffery tied the game at 13-13. The Red Sox couldn’t stop the bleeding. Jaiden Driscoll hit a sacrifice fly to put the Reds on top, and Pine Hill added four more runs with two outs. Nick Rogers delivered the biggest blow, a three-run double. With the strict Little League pitch counts and tight schedule, West Lynn coach Rob Merryman had to go deep on the depth chart to find fresh arms. “You need to start thinking about the next game, and you end up having to start throwing kids who haven’t really pitched,” Merryman said. “I asked who could go out and throw strikes, I had a couple of kids raise their hands, and I can only be proud of them standing up and saying they could do it, that’s all you can ask for.” But for Pine Hill, Brown was in fine form. He struck out the side in the sixth to put this one away.

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