Knowing it would most likely face Frederick National’s Lions in Sunday’s semifinal round of the Gregg Quedeweit Memorial Tournament of Champions, Brunswick’s Reds spread out their pitching against Frederick American’s Elks on Saturday.
Instead of going with their top pitchers, the Reds pitched by committee. Three Reds pitchers combined for a 14-2, five-inning win at Max Kehne Park, home of East Frederick Little League.
Later on Saturday, the anticipated Reds-Lions matchup was confirmed when the Lions defeated Four County’s Rockies 9-0 in another quarterfinal-round game.
Carter Vinar was Brunswick’s starter, throwing 35 pitches before being removed in the bottom of the second inning. Aaron Birney pitched until the fourth, with two out, when Kadin Longerbeam closed out the win.
The win sets up a 6 p.m. semifinal-round game with the Lions on Sunday. The championship game is set for 6 p.m. on Monday.
While the Reds ended up winning the game by the mercy rule after five innings, the start of the contest caught the Reds off guard.
Brunswick took a 4-0 lead, but the Elks answered with two runs in the bottom of the first on a Brunswick error and a bases-loaded walk.
“We came out flat to start the game,” Reds manager Cody Bechtol said. “The Elks came in here to win this game. They were hanging in there.”
Brunswick shut out the Elks the rest of the way, scoring twice in the second, then batting around in the fourth for eight runs.
Vinar was Brunswick’s starter, going one inning with three hits. Aaron Birney came on in the second, working until there were two outs in the fourth, when Kadin Longerbeam came on to strike out the final Elks’ batter in the fourth, where the game ended due to the mercy rule.
Mason Barry had two hits with a double and an RBI for the Reds.
“We need to come back tomorrow, be more focused and ready to play,” Barry said.
Ryan Hill, Garrett Brady and Landon Oldham each had a hit for the Elks. Justyce Palmer had an RBI.
Elks manager Rick Wilson had no comment after the game.
Lions 9, Rockies 0
Kaden Knath had two hits with two RBIs for the Lions. Nathan Chappell had two hits, including a two-run double in the second. Logan Keepers and Austin DeGrange also doubled for the Lions.
Keepers was the winning pitcher in relief, with 14 strikeouts over 5 2-3 innings. He relieved starter Chappell in the first with none out and two runners on base.
MCLL-Upper Nationals 5, EFLL MMI 4
Montgomery County-Upper’s Nationals’ Andrew Vanas scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning for the win.
The Nationals led 4-3 in the top of the sixth when MMI tied the score on a bases-loaded walk to Caden Spangenberg. With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Vanas had a leadoff single, then advanced two bases on two wild pitches.
Christian Trana walked and Alex Lopez was intentionally walked to load the bases. With Ygomesh Parasa at the plate, Vanas scored on the wild pitch to end the game.
Darius Williams and Justin Watkins each had two hits for MMI. Aaron Molishos had a two-run double.
Watkins had eight strikeouts through 5 2/3 innings with one earned run for MMI.
Another semifinal game is slated for today, with MCLL-Lower’s Red Sox facing MCLL-Upper’s Nationals at 3 p.m.