August 22, 2014

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Little League baseball: Avon 11-year-olds stay alive, down Cuyahoga Falls North to force district finale tonight

Little League

KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE
Avon’s Dan Drellishak (1) slides safely across home plate before Cuyahoga Fall’s Micah Blair (7) can lay a tag on Saturday, July 13 at Veteran’s Park. After a nail-biting nine innings, Avon fell 4-3 to Cuyahoga Falls.

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Avon would rather star in a summer blockbuster than play second fiddle in an award-winning drama.

The Under-11 Little Leaguers enacted some revenge on the road Friday night, defeating Cuyahoga Falls North 6-2 in the sequel of its 4-3 walk-off, extra-inning defeat last Sunday.

The teams play for the District 3 championship tonight at 6 at Veterans Park in Avon.

“The young man on the mound pitched a fabulous game,” Cuyahoga Falls North coach Mark Haas said of Avon’s Matt South. “When we hit the ball, we hit it right at them. They have a great outfield and they showed that early in the first game.”

South went the distance, allowing three hits, a walk and no earned runs, while striking out three.
Other than the second inning when North scored twice on three Avon errors, South faced no more than four batters in an inning.

“It was fun,” South said. “The one inning was pretty tough, but after that I did good. It felt good (to win) but we still have a game tomorrow so I can’t say it’s revenge yet.”

Avon got to bat second despite being on the road and wasted no time getting the festivities started with hits from its first three batters. Daniel Drellishak and South connected for singles and Charlie Ellis set a shot to deep center for an RBI double.

Two batters later, Ryan Jones drove in South and Ellis for a 3-0 lead.

“I think it was really important for us to get on top after they beat us the other night,” Avon coach Michael Love said. “I think we needed the momentum to get going out of the box and the boys really came through on that.

“Cuyahoga Falls North did not get down,” he added. “But our guys dug deep and didn’t let it fluster them. It’s a mature bunch of boys that have played together before and it showed.”

Avon quickly erased the progress Cuyahoga Falls made in the second with a double by Ellis, scoring Connor O’Malley and Drellishak. Ellis finished 3-for-4 with a run and three RBIs.

“I was looking for something waist high so I could drive it because that’s my sweet spot down there,” Ellis said. “I just keep calm and swing at the low pitches that are at my waist.”

Avon’s final run came in the fifth when reliever Kyle Deremier’s wild pitch allowed South to score.

Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.