Bear River Yankees down Nevada City Red Sox, head for championships
COLFAX – Six innings, one strikeout.
That’s all Bear River Yankees starting pitcher Morgan Juric could manage versus a potent Nevada City Red Sox offense in the District 11 Little League Major T.O.C. Area 2 final in Colfax Friday.
Thanks to his defense, that’s all he needed.
The Yankees turned a pair of inning-ending double plays – the Red Sox’ first two all season – and posted 10 hits en route to a 7-2 victory.
“(Nevada City) just kept hitting the ball,” Juric said. “I felt pretty good (when it was all over.)”
Bear River will play the winner of the Rocklin ‘A’ and Rocklin ‘C’ for the District 11 Championship in a best-of-three series starting today in Colfax.
“(The Red Sox) can hit the ball. They averaged 15 runs a game in their other games,” Welz said. “We only had the one strikeout, we usually have nine or 10, (but our defense came up big). Those double plays were huge.”
Bear River’s first inning-ender came in the top of the first.
Nevada City, which had won its three previous T.O.C. games by an average of 11.2 runs, was up 1-0 with a runner on first and one out when Yankee shortstop and Welz’ son, Zachary, made his presence felt.
He fielded a Robbie Porter grounder, then flipped it to second baseman Tony McCririe for the force.
McCririe then turned and fired to first baseman Nick Viola for the third out.
“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to those guys,” Red Sox manager Brian Harrison said. “That shortstop did a great job. I don’t know how many plays he had against us.”
Welz, McCririe and Viola didn’t wait long to strike again.
Down 2-1 in the second, the Red Sox had runner on the corners with one out when McCririe snagged a Tom Kotoski grounder.
McCririe hit Welz as he slid over to the bag for the force out then Welz gunned Kotoski out at first and the Yankees got out of trouble again.
“We knew we were going to have to work on our defense because they could hit the ball. And they did,” Zachary Welz said.
The Red Sox finished with nine hits and were led at the plate by Ryan Zink, who went 2-for-3, and Ryan Conger, who finished up at 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Kotoski, Seth Detinger, Robbie Porter, Chris Porter and Josh Boyer had singles for Nevada City.
Zink and Robbie Porter scored for the Yankees.
Chris Porter fanned a game-best five batters, but took the loss.
Welz went 3-for-4 with a double to lead the way for the Yankees.
Peter Hendrickson and Jarrett Paoletti – who had a 2-RBI double in the third – each went 2-for-3.
Juric and Hendrickson each scored twice. Welz, Viola and Cameron Myers also scored. Juric, who earned the complete-game win, Viola and Thomas Solomon also had singles in the win.
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