Latrobe picks up win in Little League tourney
Sometimes kids need a push to get going. Zach Kenly provided that push Saturday for the Latrobe Little League All-Stars.
Kenly sent a two-run homer over the right-center field wall to spark a five-run fifth inning for Latrobe, as it beat Moon Area 8-4 in the first round of the Pennsylvania Section 1 Little League Tournament at John Divirgillio Sports Complex in Rostraver.
Latrobe plays the winner of the Connellsville/State College game being held at 2:30 p.m. today. Latrobe will play that game at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
“They’re all big,” Latrobe coach Keith Visconti said about their wins. “This is the first time I’ve seen the team tight. That home run got it started.”
Down 2-1 going into the top of the fifth, Colin McChesney lead off with a bunt single and Nate Campbell struck out. Kenly then fought off five pitches before planting one over the fence.
Latrobe added three more runs that inning and two insurance runs in the sixth to take care of Moon.
“(These kids) hit,” Visconti said. “This is definitely the best hitting team I’ve been around.”
Latrobe racked up four of its six hits in the inning and forced two of Moon’s six errors.
“Latrobe has got a good team,” Moon coach Don Liskay said. “Errors in the field killed us and we stranded a lot of runners.”
Latrobe got hot early, drawing first blood in the first. McChesney lead off with a walk and scored on a Max Henry single to left. Their bats were shut down until the fifth.
McChesney, who also pitched for Latrobe, scattered three runs – one in the first, third and fifth – striking out six and walking one. He threw 82 pitches, 58 of which were strikes.
McChesney was relieved by Henry in the sixth, who allowed one run on two hits.
“We just went with our No. 1 and 2 pitchers,” Visconti said. “This is a long tournament. We’re five pitchers deep.”
Visconti said the district play helped them in the win, competing with a high level of play.
“Absolutely,” he said. “We were in two one-run games with Derry and West Point. It prepared us real well, especially the come-from-behind win with Derry.”
Moon, which went 8-1 before this game, will play Mount Union, which lost to State College 2-1.
“The level of play increases as you go up,” Liskay said. “When you go from the district to the section (tournament), you jump up a notch.”
West Point will face the winner of the Mifflin County/Somerset game today in State College.