While the Taney Dragons were soaking up the spotlight at the Little League World Series there was another team making headlines across the country. And they came home with the hardware.
VIA-Delaware County Times
Taney who? The Philadelphia area got its national baseball championship Friday night courtesy of the Broomall-Newtown Babe Ruth 13s team.
The Broomall-Newtown squad claimed a pair of victories on the final day of the Babe Ruth World Series in Glen Allen, Va., punctuating the tournament with a come-from-behind 11-4 thumping of Chandler-Mesa, Ariz., in the final to clinch the title.
The day started with a 13-0 drubbing of the team from Gainesville-Haymarket, Va., in the semifinals. That set up a meeting of underdogs in the final, after Chandler-Mesa completed the home-state whitewashing by upsetting host Glen Allen, 3-1, in the other semifinal.
The wins cap a 20-1 summer for Broomall-Newtown, the Mid-Atlantic Regional champ. Its only loss of the summer came Tuesday in pool play, a 12-2 setback to Glen Allen.
BN is just the second team from Pennsylvania to win a Babe Ruth title at any of the four levels contested, joining the 2002 13-year-old squad from Levittown.
It took a gargantuan effort for Broomall-Newtown to even get to the final day after finishing second in its National Division pool and missing out on the bye to the semifinals. B-N had to squeak through a 4-2 decision over Greenville, N.C., in the quarterfinals Thursday night that, in retrospect, proved to be its tightest encounter.
Broomall-Newtown’s reward was an early meeting Friday with Virginia champion Gainesville-Haymarket, which won the American Division pool at the tournament by going 4-0.
But the Virginians were no match for the arms of Sean Galway and Alden Mathes, who combined on a two-hitter. Galway went the first two innings, allowing just two walks and one strikeout. Mathes economically cleaned up the final three frames, scattering two hits and one walk by striking out two.
The bats of B-N made sure they only needed to throw the five frames. Sean Galway, Jake Haus, Mathes and Kevin Merrone pounded out two hits each. Six players drove in a run, and Mathes scored three times. Haus, Merrone, Jim White and Luke Zimmerman, who doubled, scored twice each.
Zimmerman doubled home a run, and Merrone provided an RBI single in the first to stake BN to a 3-0 lead. They continued to pile on the runs, benefitting from six errors by Gainesville-Haymarket, and they brought the game to a premature end with a six-spot in the fifth inning, triggering the 10-run rule.
The early conclusion in the semis proved beneficial for Mathes, who still had something left in the tank. He entered the final just as the Arizona squad was catching up to Zimmerman, who started and gave up six hits and three runs (two earned) in three-plus innings.
Mathes used a double play to limit the damage in the top of the fourth to three, making it a 4-3 Chandler-Mesa lead and giving the Broomall-Newtown bats a chance to take control.
In the fifth, they did. Fittingly for a team that has come back time and again in this tournament, the rally started with two outs.
Mathes, at the center of so much of Broomall-Newtown’s success, drew a two-out walk. He scored after a throwing error following a Haus single. Jim White followed with an RBI single, and Chris Newell kept the carousel moving with an RBI single to reverse the deficit to a 6-4 lead.Then came the customary Broomall-Newtown explosion as it batted around in the sixth to plate five runs and give the trophy engravers a head start. Merrone led off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a Jimmy Beaky groundout and scored on a passed ball.A walk by Galway and singles by Mathes and Haus loaded the bases for White to drive in a run with a single. After Mathes scored on a passed ball, Zimmerman singled home a run, and White scored on a Newell fielders’ choice.That left Mathes to finish the job, working around a hit by pitch in the seventh to close out the game without incident. Emblematic of the team’s balance, it was No. 8 hitter White who did the most damage in the finale, doubling among his three hits and driving in four as well as scoring twice. Mathes (two hits) and Newell, the seven-hitter, drove in two runs apiece, while nine-hitter Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.