ELYRIA — Ron Zuckerman managed to find the silver lining Monday after watching his West Majors All-Star team bow out of the Little League district tournament with a 15-0 loss to Cuyahoga Falls North.
“We were the last Elyria team standing,” he said with a smile. “I don’t know if that’s good or bad but I’m proud of our team.”
Falls North advanced to the losers bracket final in the 12-year-old division against Cuyahoga Falls South with the winner set to face Tallmadge in the finals.
North scored just once in the first inning but three nice plays in center field by Michael Massey seemed to take any starch out of West.
Massey took away what could have been hits from Keyshawn Glover to start the game and Matt Lednick later. What could have been a big inning was nothing but one-two-three.
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In the second, Aaron Huff drove a liner that Massey snared to start the inning. Who knows what might have happened if Huff had reached and Hayden Lowstetter followed with a shot down the first-base line. Lowstetter’s hit, however, was the only one West registered all night.
“You’re not going to win many games with just one hit,” Zuckerman said. “It’s hard when you have to play an all-star team that can pick from up to 100 kids. This is my 12 kids we’ve had all year. We don’t get to pick and choose. We’ve got what we got.
“But we can be proud. We beat Avon to get this far. That was a major win. Maybe our bubble busted a little bit there. That was it. Maybe we didn’t come out ready to play.”
Falls North certainly was ready. It had a pair of doubles and Kyle Kelleher’s long blast over the center-field fence among its 10 hits.
Seven West errors greased the skids all the more.
“Our batters were real disciplined at the plate with the pitching,” Falls manager Bryan Taylor said. “They did their job.
“That first inning (West) had a couple big hits and Michael Massey went and shagged them down for us. He’s solid out there and then he came in to pitch and finish it up.”
Zane Patterson had three hits and picked up the victory for Falls with 2⅔ solid innings. Jacob Lovelace had a pair of singles and drove in two runs and Ben Eby had a bases-clearing double for Cuyahoga Falls.
“They’re a good team,” Zuckerman said. “Things that we did so well the past couple games — couple pop-ups in the infield, foul balls — we just didn’t make those plays.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.