The West Salisbury Little League 11-12 all-stars are headed to Connecticut for a chance to play in the Little League World Series.
West Salisbury slammed eight home runs in as many innings to power its way to the Maryland state title with wins by scores of 14-6 and 12-2 over Sharpsburg. Those games were played in North East, Md.
It was the fourth 11-12 state title in the last 12 years for West Salisbury, including 2007, when the program sent a team all the way to the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.
West Salisbury will try to repeat the feat Aug. 1-6, when it plays in the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament in Bristol, Conn.
“Having past success iin our program helps us get through tough games,” West Salisbury coach Pete Peterman said. “I got a call from the coach of the 2007 team and he told me that year, they did the same thing, losing their second game in the state tournament, then coming up through the losers’ bracket.”
The difference on Saturday was depth, as West Salisbury got home runs from six different players, including three by Ryan Mitchell.
On their first trips to the plate, the players occupying the seventh and ninth slots in the West Salisbury lineup — Jake Taylor and Travis Adams — hit two-run home runs. By contrast, players in the last four slots in Sharpsburg’s order went a combined 0-for-16 on Saturday.
Peyton Mason, who pitched the first game, was coming off a dominant fourth inning when he fanned all three batters he faced. But West Salisbury exploded in the bottom of the fifth, battering Mason and reliever Brady Ingram for nine runs on nine hits.
Mitchell did most of the damage, accounting for the first two runs in the inning with a home run and the last three with another round-tripper.
In the two games, Mitchell went a combined 6-for-7 with nine RBIs. He also got the pitching win in the first game, striking out seven and walking just one in five innings.
The second game was never in doubt. Ryan Teaman’s three-run home run in the first inning put West Salisbury in front. An inning later, Mitchell blasted another three-run shot, making it 6-1. It was the seventh postseason home run for Mitchell.
In the third inning, the West Salisbury lead swelled to 10 runs as Smith and Blake Corbin hit back-to-back home runs.
Back home in Salisbury on Tuesday, Mayor Jim Ireton and the city of Salisbury publicly congratulated the West Salisbury Little League on their recent winning streak.
The team now heads to Bristol, Connecticut to compete for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. The team will compete with State Champions from Delaware, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York for the privilege of representing the entire Mid-Atlantic Region in Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League World Series.
The mayor joined other local leaders in urging the public to consider making a tax deductible contribution to the team to help with the cost of traveling expenses, baseballs and equipment.
Checks should be made payable to: West Salisbury, PO Box 2102, Salisbury, MD 21802. (In the memo, please write: 12-year-old All Stars.)
Donations are tax deductible as permitted by law (Tax ID# 52-1427772 and 503-C# 91-1928028).
Donors are also welcome to contact Rob Taylor, WSLL president, at 410-430-0780 or Michelle Corbin, fundraising chairwoman, at 443-783-4582.