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Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

South Baltimore Little League wins four district baseball championships

By meerna Jul11,2024
South Baltimore Little League wins four district baseball championships

For the first time in its 67-year history, South Baltimore Little League (SBLL) won four District 4 Baseball Championships in a single season. SBLL won the district championship in the 8-10 age group, 9-11 age group, 10-12 age group and 11-13 age group.

This year, SBLL had more than 500 players, an organization record, and was the only program in District 4 to compete in all four age groups. The region includes Little League programs in Southern Maryland (Davidsonville), Arbutus, Greenbelt and Laurel.

Baseball in the 8-10 age group is a repeat champion, baseball in the 9-11 age group won its third consecutive championship, the Intermediate team won its region for the first time and the 10-12 age group won its first region championship in 31 years.

“I think this is the best result ever,” said Kenny Kulesz, SBLL co-coaching coordinator and manager of the 9-11 baseball team.

“We are thrilled with the success this year across all of our divisions,” said SBLL President Brendan O’Brien. “It is clear that the work our players and volunteers put in this year has made us competitive at the state level. We are thrilled with where we are now and look forward to building on this success and being competitive for many years to come.”

SBLL also has a partnership with SoBo Baseball Club, which allows many SBLL players to play on a limited basis without conflicting with the SBLL regular season schedule or regional play.

Kulesz noted that competing in the SBLL divisions also prepares athletes well for the playoffs. He said the 8-10-year-old All-Stars face pitchers from the 10-12-year-old All-Star baseball team in regular-season games.

“The lower levels are developing at an appropriate pace to sustain this process,” Kulesz said.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, SBLL has transitioned team practices to include division-wide skills and drills to ensure that each player remains engaged throughout practice and develops their talent and fundamentals. SBLL has identified this change as critical to improving play on the court.

“Skills and drills provide a level playing field for players of all skill levels,” O’Brien said.

Fall registration is almost here, and players of all ages and abilities will have the opportunity to practice skills and drills, and play sandlot-style baseball on Sunday mornings.

This coming weekend, the SBLL 8-10 age group will compete in the state tournament in Hagerstown, which begins Saturday.

The 9-11 year old team will play in the Maryland State Tournament at home at the SBLL Complex at 1101 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point. The team is counting on a large crowd to watch the SBLL games and knows the atmosphere can be enhanced by playing in the tournament.

Referring to the 8-10 Year Old Baseball and 9-11 Year Old Baseball teams, which were “happy to be able to” make it to the state tournament last year, Kulesz said both teams “expect to compete” this year, noting that the bar has been raised in the SBLL.

The SBLL 10-12 team is playing in the Maryland state tournament, which begins July 20 in Southern Maryland.

Last weekend the Intermediate team was eliminated from the Maryland State Tournament.

Below are the District 4 Region summaries prepared by each team:

Baseball team for children aged 8-10:

The all-star South Baltimore Little League 8-10 Year Old team defeated Greenbelt 21-7 in 4 innings to win the District 4 championship. Lucas Pasarella started the game and earned the win, while Henry Blood finished it with a save. Connor Delaney had 4 RBIs, while Charlie Hoehlein and Henry Blood each had 3. Jack McCartney and Nick Tran each had two hits, while Benny Blood and Will Boyd each had a hit and two walks. Austin Yetso and Gio Lloyd added two runs each. Brooks McQuillan made several outstanding plays at third base, while Cooper Dach was a mainstay behind the plate.

Overall, the team went 4-0 en route to the title, outscoring opponents 72-9. They now advance to the state tournament in Hagerstown, Maryland, and will play their first game on July 13.

Baseball team for children aged 9-11:

Our 9-11 year old All Star Baseball team has qualified for the State Championship Tournament. And guess who is hosting the tournament? None other than South Baltimore Little League at 1101 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point. We are very excited to bring some of the best baseball teams in the state to South Baltimore starting July 13th to showcase our amazing facility and surrounding area.

Unfortunately, there was no other team in District 4 for our 9-11 team to play, so they were crowned District Champions for the third year in a row, and we raised the championship banner. Our 9-11 team will play a few friendly games against local opponents to prepare.

The team includes: Ardy Scholz, Cam O’Brien, Cole Trexler, Dax Parr, Decker Davidow, Drew Mandelberg, Kaden Kulesz, Kevin Shudtz, Milo Biscoe, Owen Wunderlich, Preston Zimmerman and Ryan Shea.

Baseball team in the 10–12 age category:

31 years in the making!

The 2024 South Baltimore Little League 10-12 Year Old baseball team is the District 4 champion for the first time in 31 years! Even more impressive is the roster. The team was led by seven 12-year-olds, two 11-year-olds, and two 10-year-olds! The championship game ended in dominant fashion, a 15-0 victory over Greenbelt in 3 innings. Cam Stoner threw a shutout, allowing only 2 hits and contributing 2 RBI. Veteran 12-year-olds Hudson Connolly, Joey Lloyd, and Jack Teresi made significant contributions at the plate and behind the mound.

The road to the championship began with a devastating defeat in the sixth round of the first match, but the brave team managed to avenge themselves and win three matches in a row, defeating Greenbelt twice and winning the championship!

Game 2 against Laurel was close until the final inning when South Baltimore broke open the game for 12 points in the 6th inning on the back of hits by Andy Wycall, Camden Connolly, Will Herrfeldt and Alex Coughlan. Aidan Bryant finished the game in CF and scored. Treme Cannizzaro came on the mound to close out the game and confirm the “W” for South Baltimore.

Game 3 against Greenbelt was a tie until the 6th inning, when Cory Williams hit a triple to center field to secure a 13-10 victory that was capped by Hudson Connolly on the mound.

This U12 team never gave up and more importantly played every game better than the last. The team was coached by Taylor Connolly, Michael Connolly and Steve Coughlan.

The team is competing in the state championship tournament, which begins July 20 in Southern Maryland.

Intermediate group in the age category 11-13 years:

The SBLL 11-13 Year Old Intermediate team won the District 4 Championship 10-9 last night in a close game against Arbutus. The game was decided in the bottom of the 7th inning when South Baltimore got out of a bind with runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs.

It was a great hit, 10 total hits. Will Walker, Kai Ely and Henry Bowen had 2 hits each. Tracer Louk had a momentum-changing RBI 2 double.

Kai Ely pitched well, giving up only 2 runs in 4 1/3 innings. Kai Ely also stole two homers to add to his scoring total. Henry Bowen relieved Kai Ely in the 4th inning, not giving up any runs. Henry Bowen later saved the day, returning as a pitcher in the 6th and 7th innings to complete the save.

Our District 4 Intermediate Champion team included: Colin Durbin, David Konig, Gavin Sadler, Henry Bowen, John Warner, Kai Ely, Lage Powers, Mac Adams, Miro Ziegler, Ryan Kashnow, Shepard Obriecht, Tracer Louk, Troy Trout and Will Walker.

The latest episodes of the South Baltimore Now podcast Produced by Nathan Carper: https://www.natecarpercreative.com

About the Author: Kevin Lynch

Founder and publisher of SouthBmore.com, long-time South Baltimore resident and Towson University graduate. Avid Ravens and O’s fan, father of three, pizza lover, skateboarder and “bar food” enthusiast. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.

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