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July 15, 2013

Little leaguers hit hard in sectional

The Daily Star

---- — Staff Report

Karif Swan homered to left-center field in the third inning for the Oneonta Blue All-Star Baseball Team on Saturday.

That marked Oneonta’s only hit, though, as the 12-and-under Blue Team dropped their opener, 11-1, in the Williamsport Little League Sectional Tournament at Corning’s Denison Park.

Starting pitcher Ben Smart struck out 10 in a four-inning one-hitter as Liverpool won its first sectional game via the mercy rule. Smart also homered off Oneonta starter Tanner Beang in a five-run first inning that featured another home run from Aaron Sisto.

“It gave us a little jolt I think,” said Oneonta coach Tim McGraw, whose team gave up three more runs in the second inning. “It got us on our heels right off the bat. We were on our heels the whole game after that. They got into a groove.”

Teddy McGraw and Numfor Tiapo drew the only walks issued by Smart, who gave up Swan’s homer in the third but still held an 8-1 lead.

“He got ahead of a lot of our hitters and just struck them out,” Tim McGraw said. “They hit the ball hard. They had three doubles, a couple walks, three homers and four singles, so they got on base just about every way you can.”

Gerard Mouton also homered for Liverpool, which lost its second sectional game, 6-0, to New Hartford on Sunday.

Oneonta plays New Hartford at 6 p.m. today back at Denison Park. The top two teams in Oneonta’s three-team Pool B will play crossover semifinals against the two best teams from Pool A on Tuesday. Semifinal winners will meet for the sectional final Wednesday, with the sectional champion advancing to the next round of the Williamsport Tournament.

Should Oneonta win today, all three Pool B teams will own 1-1 records. Liverpool Little League safety officer Gavin Smart said Sunday night the tiebreaker to determine the top two teams is runs allowed.

Oneonta Tournament

Oneonta swept the 12U and 10U championships during the annual Oneonta Little League Tournament on Sunday.

The Oneonta Gold Team defeated Cooperstown, 11-9, in the 12U final at Doc Knapp Field. Relief pitcher Paul Zimmer got out of a bases loaded jam with none out in the sixth for the save. Zimmer caught a line drive back to the mound and doubled off a runner at first base for the first two outs.

Zach Rigas earned the pitching victory for the Gold Team (12-5), which received three hits from Mariano Hernandez and two apiece from Gabe House, Joel Levins and Gunnar Hassard.

The Oneonta White Team held on for a 6-5 victory over Stamford in the 10U title game at the minor league field adjacent to Doc Knapp Field. Kevin Kurkowski earned the pitching victory in relief for the White Team (10-2), which scored its sixth run in the top of the sixth when Zyeir Lawrence sent a shot over the left-center field fence for his first home run.

Andrew Shapiro tripled and doubled in a 2-for-3 effort for the White Team, which plays in a Binghamton tournament starting Tuesday.

Also Sunday, Oneonta Little League announced that Jim Gregory Sr. won the annual raffle for a limousine ride and tickets for eight people to Yankee Stadium. Gregory’s grandsons Tyler and Brandon play for the Oneonta Blue and Oneonta White All-Star teams, respectively.