Despite battling through loser’s bracket with three straight wins, title hopes vanish with 12-2 loss to Avon Grove
By Dave Conard Sport Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
LIONVILLE—In baseball, as in life, some times things just don’t go your way, such was the case for the KAU All Stars as they came up short against on Avon Grove Red in the quarterfinals match up in the Little League U-10 District 28 playoffs, falling by a count of 12-2.
Manager Pat Lindner and his feisty squad must have mistakenly packed several broken mirrors and black cats into their equipment bags and set them under a ladder somewhere at Lionville Little Leagues Foster Field, as it appeared that lady luck had some how been offended.
After an encouraging enough start, with the self proclaimed Tazmanian Devils scoring two runs in their first at bat, the tide turned in favor of Avon Grove as everything that could have gone wrong for KAU, did.
“Wow, what a weird inning or two,” said Lindner afterwards. “ No matter what happened tonight, I could not be prouder of a bunch of kids that played so well and with so much heart. After losing that first game in the tournament 11-0 they could have packed it in but they never stopped battling.”
Even KAU’s first inning, where they posted two runs as Tait Mott (2-for-2, Run) and Richie Kline (2-for-2, Run) both from Unionville, scored on a single by Garrett Pinkston, could have led to more had it not been for an amazing diving catch on a ball drilled into the gap by Michael Walter-Dillon.
The missed opportunity to put Avon Grove away early would come back to bite KAU along with three almost bizarre plays to go along with an 8 run outburst by Grove in the bottom half of the first.
A seemingly harmless ball hit into outfield getting by as a KAU player tripped, along with another diving catch by Avon Grove to start the second inning, were just a sign of things to come for KAU.
After loading the bases with two outs on three consecutive hits by Zach Lindner, Mott and Kline, on which Lindner missed the bag at third, Pinskton hit a ball destined to score at least a run that plunked Kline in the helmet as he was heading into the bag at second, ending the inning by virtue of runner interference, again allowing a chance to post runs slip out of their grasp.
“Last year we only played a couple of games,” said Zach Lindner. “It has been exciting to play in these games over the last few days, a little nervous but exciting. We tried tonight but they were hitting the ball into the gaps and every time we hit is hard it was right at someone or something weird happened.”
The loss was not with out highlights for KAU as E.J McKinney (Kennett) gunned down a man on a force play at the plate after ranging to his right at third base in the second inning cutting short a rally by Avon Grove as well as two outstanding plays in the out field by Tait Mott and Ethan Sarosi (Kennett) both making running catches.
After an opening round 11-0 loss to West Side, KAU battled through the loser’s bracket reaching the final four in the district for the first time in more than seven years.
The KAU All Stars defeated Avon Grove Gold 12-2, then followed that effort up with a seven inning walk off win over Caln by a count of 16-15 to move into the round of the six best team in the district.
On Sunday KAU punched their ticket in the final four by handing Coatesville a 9-5 loss, fueled by a five inning, 73-pitch performance by Ethan Sarosi (who will the subject of our Top of the Tribe/Blue Demons files profile later this week).
The ten-year old Sarosi, led the way by mixing his pitches well in a dominating performance in which he only allowed three hits while fanning three and allowing no earned runs in five innings of work.
“I am of proud of the way we kept fighting all weekend even with the hot weather,” added Lindner. “We will keep working and improving during the fall and look forward to playing in the tournament at Newtown- Edgemont this weekend, this is just a great bunch of kids.”
KAU is currently hosting the 11-u tournament for district 28 with Kennett playing their next game on Thursday evening at 6:00pm
For a complete gallery of photos from the game click the following link
KAU 2 0 0 0 -2
Avon Grove 8 2 2 x- 12