BRISTOL - One year ago, Delawareâ€™s Milton Little League was stopped in the Mid-Atlantic Regional championship game by New Yorkâ€™s state champion, just a step away from the Little League World Series, 7-4.
This year, its was Delawareâ€™s turn to send the New York state champions home.
Delaware stayed strong from beginning to end. It put the first points on the scoreboard in the top of the second when shortstop Owen Daminger had a two-run homer, bringing Tyler Jacona and himself across home plate.
Delawareâ€™s pitcher, Timmy Hitchcock led the way early on, holding off New Yorkâ€™s Plainview Little League until the bottom of the third.
Delaware manager Zac Crouch said Hitchcock pitched against New York last year as well.
â€śTimmy Hitchcock, actually gave up a home run for New York to beat us. Heâ€™s back this year, he started the game and he really took charge as far as building kids up and, you know, he didnâ€™t want to go home,â€ť he said.
â€śFrom his leadership it really showed, from the other kids to really plug and one, donâ€™t give up; and two, finish the job, and thatâ€™s what he did today,â€ť manager Crouch said.
Delaware started the top of the third with a single by Kye Wells. Paris Mitchell grounded into a fielderâ€™s choice that went from New York shortstop Jake Goldfarb to first baseman Ryan Farrell to retire Wells.
Luke Crouch singled on a line drive to left fielder Tyler Dady, sending Mitchell to third. Mitchell scored when Jacona grounded into a fielderâ€™s choice to put Delaware up 3-0.
It was a slow start for New York, but it managed to come alive in the third inning.
Tyler Cuilla reached first on a walk and Josh Indek singled to left field before Tyler Stern grounded into a fielderâ€™s choice. Indek advanced to third on a wild pitch and Jake Goldfarb got a base hit up the middle, bringing Cuilla and Stern home for New Yorkâ€™s first two runs of the game.
Moments after Ryan Farrell singled on a hard ground ball to left field, allowing Stern to score to tie up the game, 3-3. A.J. Brower grounded into a fielderâ€™s choice, but Delaware second baseman Luke Crouch sent the ball to Daminger, allowing Goldfarb to score to give New York a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Gage Joseph was on second when Wells hit a two-run homer, putting Delaware back into the lead, 5-4.
Neither team scored again until the top of the sixth, when Hitchcock doubled on a line drive to center field. Joseph grounded out, allowing Hitchcock to advance to third.
Wells walked and Mitchell singled on a line drive to left center, allowing Hitchcock and Wells to score for a 7-4 lead.
Luke Crouchâ€™s pitching brought home the win for Delaware. He didnâ€™t allow any runs in the bottom of the sixth to close out the game.
â€śToday was bigâ€ť, manager Crouch said. â€śThe boys have been working hard for the past ten and a half months. Last year we were up here, I had six kids on my team, and we actually lost to New York in the first game 1-0. Very great state, competitive play, but ya know we played well and it showed today.â€ť
Delaware will next play on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Maryland.