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Tonawanda U12 ends pool play

Greatness is rarely achieved without some adversity along the way.

After three straight wins in the District 1 Williamsport Tournament, the U12 Tonawanda team has faced its first hurdle when they fell to Orchard Park 13-8 in the final game of pool play that took place at Tonawanda American Little League on June 30.

Tonawanda wrapped up pool play at 3-1 to earn the No.2 seed to now advance to the semis on July 3 where they will play No. 3 Springville on Knab Field at 6pm.

OP earned the top-seed with a spotless 4-0 record. Springville and No. 4 Grand Island were also 3-1, but Tonawanda earned the second spot because of the total runs tie beaker.

Now after its first taste of defeat Tonawanda must shake off the loss, regroup and prepare for a tough Springville team.

Interestingly enough, all of these U12 teams are feeder programs for their area high schools. Tonawanda defeated Springville last month for the Section VI Class B1 title in a game that was played at Orchard Park High School.

Tonawanda took the early lead, but OP clawed its way back in as the game was a back and forth tussle that could have gone either way.

Tyler Buczkowski and Andrew Fron sparked the offense with home runs, while Noah Fisk was 2-for-3 and Cavan Derrigan went 2-for-4.

OP plated four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead then held Tonawanda scoreless in the sixth to close out the win. Proud of the way the kinds kept fighting, Coach Buczkowski said that he was confident the boys would be able to rebound physically as well and mentally and would be ready for Springville.

“Going into OP, they knew they were in for a ball game,” Buczkowski said. “But I think after they realized they can beat this team, because OP knocked us out last year. So the boys wanted it. They were ready for this game. We told them they did nothing (wrong). Just a couple defensive mistakes. If we clean that up, this is a whole different game and they know that. They know what they’ve got to do to get it done. And they are definitely focused for Springville.”

Tonawanda, who had beaten Grand Island and Wilson, improved to 3-0 after beating Central Amherst 8-1 on June 26.

Noah Fisk spun a four-inning gem to pick up the win on the hill and Andrew Fron struck out four in relief.

Offensively Tonawanda received a 2-for-4 day from Zach Braddell (double) who led off the game with a triple and was brought home when the next batter, Tyler Buczkowski, hit a home run.

Tim Seyfang had two doubles.

OP will face Grand Island on Mark Field at 6 p.m.

The two winners will square off in the title game on July 3 at 6pm, with the winning team advancing in the race to reach Williamsport and represent the North East in the Little League World Series.

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