In a classic Little League battle that displayed both teams’ grit and intestinal fortitude, the Lewes/Rehoboth 8-10 All-Stars defeated a tough Lower Sussex squad 12-4 in a four-inning, lightning-delayed contest.
Lower Sussex had come back from a 12-4 deficit in the fifth inning and had bases loaded with two outs, but due to the game being called at 11:35 p.m., the score reverts back to the fourth inning when Lewes/Rehoboth was ahead 12-4. The game could not be restarted because a lightning strike delayed it a half-hour and no inning can start past midnight. A call was made to Bristol, Conn., where the East Region office is located. The decision was made to call the game and declare the Lewes/Rehoboth squad District 3 champs.
“Midnight is curfew for 8-10 and Major League games,” said Andy Lewis, administrator for Delaware District 3. “A suspended game can not be resumed after the curfew. You need 30 minutes to resume a game after the last lightning strike when the storm is on top of us. That’s why it was called at 11:35.”
Lewes/Rehoboth had jumped out to a seven-run lead before Lower Sussex scored two in the third. Lewes/Rehoboth put four more runs up in the fourth, and Lower Sussex added two in the bottom of the inning, making it 12-4.
“I’m so proud of our boys tonight,” said Lewes/Rehoboth manager Blake Hershelman. “They continue to buy into the ‘team-first’ attitude and work together as a cohesive unit. That is exactly what it takes to grind out wins in a four- to seven-game tournament played in only one week. They make my coaching a pleasure. Hats off to Lower Sussex for another well-played game, to Millsboro Little League for maintaining such a great facility, and to the Lewes Little League and the community for its support. We are excited for the opportunity in front of us with the state tournament.”
The following stats are from before the lightning delay, but some were taken away when the game reverted back to the fourth inning.
Lewes/Rehoboth had 13 hits in the contest. Finn Gannon led the team, going 4-for-4 with three RBIs. Briggs Gannon and Kasen Adams both went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Grant Hershelman went 2-for-2, while Robbie Myers had a hit. Jack Hudson went 1-for-2 with an RBI. Jameson MacFee knocked in a Lewes/Rehoboth run with a double, and Jameson Pease delivered an RBI.
Myers pitched three innings, striking out four batters, while Briggs Gannon came in from the bullpen to put four Lower Sussex batters in the book via the K.
Lower Sussex was led by Gavin Tritapoe, who went 1-for-2 with three RBIs. Jaxon Blood went 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Jack Gates added an RBI. Migel Castillo and Rowan Bataglia each had a hit.
Gavin Tritapoe struck out two Lewes/Rehoboth batters, while reliever Jack Owens struck out one.
The Lewes/Rehoboth All-Stars will begin state tournament action Monday, July 26.