Valley Sports Report
TUNKHANNOCK — Athens scored five times in the top of the sixth inning, and Matthias Welles slammed the door in the home half of the inning as Athens claimed the District 15 Little League 11U championship with a come-from-behind 9-7 win over Tunkhannock here Sunday evening.
Tunkhannock scored three runs in the bottom of the first, and four more in the second to take a 7-0 lead, but Athens chipped away at the deficit.
After a walk to Jacob Saxon and a line-drive double by James Friend to start the top of the third inning, Athens took advantage of one-out walks to Karson Sipley and Welles to score its first run of the game. A two-out walk to Cylus Lantz forced home another run to make it 7-2.
Nicholas Robbins led off the fourth inning by reaching first base on a dropped third strike, then scored on a two-out line-drive RBI double by Cooper Robinson, who took third on the throw home, and scored moments later on a steal of home to cut the deficit to 7-4.
Saxon and Friend led off the sixth inning with back-to-back walks. After a fielder’s choice groundout left runners at first and third with one out, Sipley stroked a groundball RBI-single up the middle to trim the Tunkhannock lead to 7-5.
After a walk to Welles loaded the bases, Charan Venkataswamy hit a hard groundball single up the middle to plate two runs and tie the game at 7-7.
Welles and Venkataswamy made their away around the bases on a series of wild pitches to give Athens a 9-7 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Welles struck out the side, including two batters looking at called third strikes, to preserve the win.
Welles earned the win with five innings of relief. He allowed two runs — one earned — on one hit, while striking out nine and walking one.
Welles also led Athens at the plate with a double and a single, one run scored, and one RBI, while Robinson doubled, scored two runs, and drove in one run, Venkataswamy singled, scored one run, and drove in two runs, and Sipley singled, scored one run, and knocked in one run.
Friend doubled and scored two runs in Athens’ six-hit attack, while Robbins and Saxon each scored one run.
IN PHOTOS: The District 15 11U champion — Athens.
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