BERLIN- Little League All-Star playoff baseball is in full swing in Berlin this week with several teams vying for District 8 championships and beyond, but one special group got off to a great start on Tuesday in their quest to advance to the biggest prize, the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. later this summer.
Berlin Little League All-Stars began competing in the District 8 playoffs all over the Eastern Shore this weekend with the hopes of continuing the local program’s run of unprecedented success in recent years. The 9-10 team opened with an 18-4 win over Snow Hill on Monday, while the 10-11 team and the Junior League team get started with District 8 playoffs this weekend.
One of the Berlin team’s that bears close attention this summer is the Major League team, which is made of a group of 12-year-olds that have achieved remarkable success in recent summers. Berlin’s Major League team two years ago won the state championship as 9-10-year-olds and repeated the feat last year as 10-11-year-olds.
This year, the same basic team is intact as they prepare for what could be a run and a very special season. The Major League team has a very good shot at advancing through district play, the state tournament, regional tournaments and ultimately the Little League World Series in Williamsport in August. For generations, the Little League World Series has always been the height of youth baseball success, and with most of the regional games now televised nationally on ESPN, it remains the goal of every young baseball player across the country.
While there are many layers of district pool play, district championships, state playoffs and regional playoffs to get through before entertaining any ideas about a trip to Williamsport, the Berlin 12-year-olds certainly made a statement in their opening game of district play on Tuesday. In their District 8 playoff opener on Tuesday, the Berlin 12-year-old team demolished Princess Anne, 27-0, on the strength of six home runs including two grand slams and three 3-run homers. Tristan McDonough had three hits including a grand slam and a double, while Wes Powell also hit a grand slam. Matt Kinsey had two hits including a three-run homer, while Jack Rosenberg and Hayden Snelsire also hit three-run homers. Kevin Beck had three hits and Billy Wheatley doubled.
While being cautious of being overly confident and getting ahead of themselves, the Berlin All-Stars are already reaching out to the community for potential fundraising efforts as they continue their journey. Last year, the team incurred expenses of $20,000 for tournament fees, travel expenses, lodging and meals as they advanced to regionals in Rhode Island.
To that end, the team is seeking sponsorships from local businesses and individuals in the Berlin and Ocean City areas. Sponsors will be recognized on a team banner that will be posted at every game the team plays throughout All Star season. For more information, contact Berlin Little League President Nornie Bunting at (410) 251-0201, or Vice President Eric Snelsire at (412) 977-3882.