Well, that changes things.
With a free pass to first place on the line, two-time defending champion Beacon Hill ran into a more than formidable opponent on a spectacularly sunny Thursday night at Ambassador Park, trumped 8-1 by Layritz at the Little League District 7 Championship.
Jaiden Schembri-Moss's three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning cracked open a tight game for the victors. Layritz then added five more runs in the bottom of the fifth for insurance before surrendering one in the final sixth inning.
It was Beacon Hill1s first loss as they wrap up their round-robin portion at 4-1. Layritz (which plays 1-3 Hampton at 6 p.m. today) improves to 3-1 and can match Beacon Hill and Lakehill (also 4-1) in a three-way tie that will be decided by head-to-head play or possibly run differential, if needed.
.We just tried to get ahead of them and our pitching was so strong," said Layritz manager Mark Ward, who started Tyrus Finch, then received a no-hit performance out of middle reliever Gabe Crozier and wrapped it up with Makhail Bondoreff.
Crozier was solid, coming on with two out in the second before giving way to Bondoreff for the last three outs.
Bondoreff, one of three brothers (with twin Liam and younger brother Keagan forming two-thirds of the Layritz infield to start), made an unbelievable in the top of the fourth, after securing the 3-0 lead. Lying on his side he made a solid throw from shortstop to get Daniel Pugh at first.
The kid is on his side, throws it to the bag. It was like Big League stuff," said Beacon Hill manager Tak Niketas, who was hoping to nail down first place.
1We were trying to get that first-place spot. That hit [home run] changed the whole game. Our bats have been quiet. I gave the boys the day off today [from practice] and I thought they would be real fresh, but they were flat and didn0t get going."
Thanks in part to Crozier, who threw a ton of strikes.
0He came in and shut the door and made sure nothing was going to happen after the three-run shot," agreed Niketas.
"He throws a lot of strikes," Ward said of Crozier. Tyrus started out a little slow, but came back well and Makie [Makhail Bondoreff] starts out that way [slowly] and then boom, boom, boom.
0That last fastball was framed beautifully," Ward said of a strikeout of Samuel Zacharias to end the game.
A couple of Bondoreff curveballs set up the final swing and a miss.
But there was also Schembri-Moss's bomb.
0It was a fastball," said the just turned 13-year-old. 1I was looking for it and took it to right. It was a good bounce-back game for us [after a lone-run loss to Lakehill the night before].
0You always want to start out with a lot of runs, but in the end we scored some," added Schembri-Moss, who played a bit of a hero. .I'm not really the hero, but it was nice to get it started."
The winner of the tournament heads to North Langley for provincials July 19-27 and the B.C. rep then travels to Quebec Aug. 1-10 for nationals. The Canadian champion will ultimately get to Williamsport for the Little League World Series, Aug. 14-24.
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