Sports

Pine Hill Little League wins Lynn City Series

The Pine Hill team, led by Juneill Guzman (with trophy), takes a victory lap around Kiley Park's field. (Owen O'Rourke)

 

LYNN — The Pine Hill Reds’ bats came alive as they powered to a 14-8 win over the West Lynn Red Sox to earn the Lynn City Series crown at Kiley Park Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Pine Hill manager Rich Avery said. “This was our original draft class as 10-year-olds so we’ve been working to this for a long time. I’m just excited they got to fulfill it, it’s been a goal of theirs for years.”

Pine Hill totaled 12 hits and seven walks, scoring in five of six innings. Juneill Guzman (4-for-4 with a walk and 5 RBI) led the way and was a home run short of hitting for the cycle. JJ Avery (3-for-4), Richie Avery (1-for-1 with a walk), Nick Rogers (1-for-4) and Chris Champa (1-for-3 with a walk and HBP) each had two RBI. Willy McCafferty (0-for-2 with two walks and a sacrifice fly) also added 1 RBI.

“He’s been a leader for us for years,” Rich Avery said of Guzman. “I look forward to watching him as he grows up. Not only is he a fantastic baseball player but he’s a great kid.”

For West Lynn, Almani Medina (1-for-1 with 3 walks and 2 RBI) reached base every at bat. Janier Rodriguez (0-for-1 with 3 walks) scored three runs. Rowan Merryman, Christian Figueroa, and Jacob Peterson each had 1 RBI.

“It was a tough game,” West Lynn manager Rich Contreras said. “We had a good season the kids worked real hard, we tried coming back but it was a tough game. Pine Hill is a great team, my hats off to them and my hats off to my kids for an awesome season.”

Pine Hill took an early in the first inning. A triple by Guzman and two walks loaded the bases. JJ and Richie Avery got back-to-back hits, driving in two runs each and giving Pine Hill a 4-0 lead.

West Lynn also found itself with bases loaded in the first. Rodriguez stole home on a throw back to the pitcher and Merryman drove in a run to cut the lead to 4-2.

A RBI single by Guzman extended the Pine Hill lead to 5-2 in the second inning.

West Lynn loaded the bases again in the second and was able to score two more runs off a single by Medina to cut the lead to 5-4.

That was as close as West Lynn would get to erasing the lead. Pine Hill added seven runs in the next two innings, five of which came in the fourth. The fourth inning was highlighted by back-to-back two RBI doubles from Guzman and Champa.

West Lynn added four runs of its own in the fourth inning thanks a RBI each from Figueroa and Peterson and two infield errors.

Pine Hill added two more insurance runs in the sixth. Guzman added another RBI off a single and McCafferty brought Guzman home to extend the lead to 14-8

Relief pitcher Nick Rogers came in to close things down for Pine Hill, throwing 2 1/3 no-hit innings. Rogers struck out five batters on his way to seal the 14-8 win for Pine Hill.

“He’s one of our pitchers but hasn’t pitched a lot this year,” Rich Avery said of Rogers. “For him to come in in a spot like that was huge. He really shut it down for us.”

West Lynn 8, East Lynn 7

At Kiley Park Saturday, the Red Sox earned their way to a title game matchup with Pine Hill with a dramatic 8-7, 7-inning win over the East Lynn Mets.

The Sox had led 7-5 going into the top of the sixth inning when Brayden Lunden staged a bit of derring-do on the bases to get the tying run across. With two outs and two strikes on Josh Jiminez, Lunden, who was on third base, sprinted halfway up the line, and when West Lynn’s catcher threw back to the mound, Lunden dashed the rest of the way home to tie the game.

A wild pitch brought home Julius Soto with the sixth run.

The Red Sox rallied with two out in the seventh inning. Ben Marciaino smacked a double to left-center field that looked, for an instant, as if it had the legs to go over the fence. He settled for a double.

East Lynn then elected to walk Almani Medina, who had already walked, had two hits, and scored two runs, intentionally. Jacob Peterson hit a hard groundball to shortstop, with Marciano and the ball arriving almost simulataneously. The ball went through the shortstop and Marciano came home with the winning run.

“This was a tough way to lose,” said manager Matthew Mercedes. “But I can’t complain. Our kids gave it all they had. They left their hearts on the field. That’s all I could ask. I’m just sad for them.”

 

More Stories From Lynn