Rhees Perry and Sean McKinney combined to throw a no-hitter in the Marlins’ Major division championship victory. Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes.
Lockport Little League crowned two champions this past week for the summer season.
Both the Ken-Ton Chiropractic Marlins of the Major division and Somerset of the Junior division capped off undefeated seasons by winning championship games over the weekend (July 12-13).
The Marlins won a hard-fought 3-0 contest against the Lions Club Mets, which saw their pitching staff throw a combined no-hitter.
“You can’t do it with just your top two or three guys,” said Marlins Manager Scott McKinney. “You need the bottom guys to help you out and I think my bottom guys did. A lot of the guys were scared when they first came up here because the kids throw a little harder. They hung in there, got hits and made plays. That’s all you can ask for.”
Rhees Perry continued his pitching success from the Lockport 12U District Playoff team as he struck out nine batters over four innings and was just one walk away from a perfect game to pick up the win. Sean McKinney also built on his performance from the Battle of the Falls tournament last week, when he came in to close out the game by striking out all six batters that he faced.
McKinney also hit what turned out to be the game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the second inning.
Tyler Mottorn provided some much needed offense in the third with an RBI single that brought Perry home, while David Bunn plated Perry again on deep sacrifice fly to center.
The Marlins finish the season a perfect 14-0, which included a 16-2 victory over the Lockport Orthodontics Reds in the semifinals.
“It’s hard to go 14-0,” Scott McKinney said of his team. “The boys kept battling and the Mets play us hard every single time. I told them how proud I am of them and again how hard it is to go 14-0 throughout the season. They are going to move up next year and kind of battle on their own to secure their own position. It’s not going to be about little league anymore as it is about getting ready for high school.”
Matt DiTullio pitched a strong game in defeat, allowing just five hits in five innings and striking out six batters for the Mets (10-4).
“I’m proud of these boys,” said Mets Manager Matt Arquette. “Back in March we got together and set three goals. Our first goal was that the boys left the season better than they came in and they accomplished that. Our second was that the boys had fun and they did that. Our third goal was that we finished in the top two because a lot of people were thinking we were going to be a last place team and we made the title game. I’m proud of them.”
The Marlins team consisted of David Bunn, Alex Conheady, Jesse Hammond, Sean McKinney, Tyler Mottorn, Rhees Perry, David Rydzyk, Nick Sanford, Ryley Sullivan and Taskor Taylor. The coaches were Scott McKinney, Scott Perry and Dave Bunn.
Somerset also completed an unbeaten season in the Junior division, defeating the Patterson Construction Diamondbacks 12 to 5 in the title game.
“We have a good mix of age and talent,” said Somerset Manager Jim Harris. “We have some veterans that helped out some young kinds. Everything went well and we had a great season.”
They were dominant all season long en route to a 13-0 record, outscoring opponents 182-56 on the season, but this contest was much closer than it appeared on the score sheet.
The Diamondbacks got strong pitching all game long, only allowing five hits and four earned runs.
Somerset got off to an early lead, scoring four runs on passed balls and errors, but the D-Backs slowly battled back as Dylan Whitte singled in Kam Kraemer in the second inning before Cullen Snyder added an RBI single and Jake Walters had an RBI double to cut the lead to one in the third.
The rest of the game belonged to Somerset though, as Jack Hopkins added a pair of RBI groundouts in the fourth and fifth, while Jake Hurtgam added a pair of RBIs on a double and sac fly in the fifth and sixth to put the game out of reach.
Garot Conklin pitched an outstanding game in defeat as he allowed just four hits and two earned runs while striking out six batters in four and a third innings pitched for the Diamondbacks (7-7).
“A lot of the kids had never played before,” said Diamondbacks Manager Jon Ryndak. “The team we played was a very good team. I’m very proud of our kids for how hard they played. They really pulled it together and that was probably the best game we’ve played all year.”
Ryan Voss threw a strong game on the mound for Somerset, going five innings with just four hits, three runs and struck out five for Somerset.
“Nobody wants more than I do, but its win while teaching kids the game and the right way to play,” Harris said of winning the title. “I think we did a lot of that this year. There were some times when we had to reign in some guys and do the right thing, but it worked out in the long run.”
Somerset’s team consisted of: Dan Engert, Cole Hanssen, Preston Harris, Jack Hopkins, Jake Hurtgam, Josh Richburt, Austin Sullivan, Ryan Voss, Chase Woodward and manager Jim Harris.