Valley Sports Report
TREMONT, Pa. — The Athens Minors are headed to States.

Athens scored 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning — all with two outs, and Eli Hicks turned in a strong performance on the mound in an 11-1 four-inning win over Jersey Shore in the winner-take-all championship game of the double-elimination Section III baseball playoffs here Sunday evening.

Athens avenges a 13-10 loss to Jersey Shore just 24 hours earlier that forced Sunday’s game.

Hicks pitched around a two-out error in the top of the first inning, then Athens got busy in the home half of the frame, taking advantage of three hit batsmen, two errors and two walks en route to a 10-0 lead.

After Sam Cheresnowsky was hit by a pitch with one out, Hicks was hit by a pitch with two outs, and Duncan Thetga smacked a line-drive single to left field to load the bases.

A Jersey Shore error allowed Athens’ first two runs to score, then Peter Bertsch was hit by a pitch to re-load the bases. Another error made it 3-0, and consecutive bases-loaded walks to Lucas Schultz and Kamdyn Wheeler forced home runs to extend the lead to 5-0.

Cheresnowsky’s RBI single was Athens’ first hit of the game and pushed the lead to 6-0, then Connor Davidson delivered the big hit in the inning, a three-RBI double to deep center field to make it 9-0. Davidson ended up scoring on an error on the play to finish off the scoring.

Jersey Shore avoided the 10-run rule momentarily with an unearned run in the top of the fourth inning, but a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the home half of the fourth allowed Schultz to scoot home to make it 11-1, triggering the 10-run “mercy” rule.

Hicks allowed an unearned run on two hits, while striking out two and walking one in four innings of work to earn the win.

Davidson doubled, scored one run, and drove in three runs, and Thetga singled twice, and scored one run to pace Athens at the plate, while Cheresnowsky singled, scored two runs, and drove in one run, and Wheeler singled, scored one run, and knocked in one run.

Wheeler singled and scored one run in the win, while Schultz scored two runs and drove in one run, and Alex McQuay, Bertsch and Graham Wanck each scored one run.

The state tournament is being hosted by Wellsboro Little League. Athens will square off with Hollidaysburg Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. on the “Back Field.”