AVON — A 30-minute delay to the start of Monday’s game didn’t deter Avon’s 11-year-olds from accomplishing their mission.
Alex Stump walked with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Eagles an 11-1 mercy-rule victory over Cuyahoga Falls North and the District 3 championship.
With their win, manager Pat Collins and his team advance to the state tournament in Cambridge, beginning Saturday.
A brief shower passed through the area about an hour before the game’s start. Even though grounds crew members worked to make the field playable, the umpires spotted some extra work that needed to be done and delayed the start.
It only delayed the inevitable for Avon.
“We wanted to win each inning, and we did,” Collins said. “We didn’t get any big hits. We don’t talk home runs. We just talk about getting the hits and manufacturing runs.”
Winning pitcher Jonny Morales singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning and promptly stole second. After a fly out, Tim Moroz drilled a triple to the right-field corner, sending Morales home with the game’s first run. Moroz scored when the Cuyahoga Falls shortstop threw wildly to first on a ground ball.
Two walks, a single, another error and a two-run double by Moroz produced another four runs for the champions in the second. In the third, a walk, a misplayed sacrifice and Morales’ single led to Avon’s seventh and eighth runs.
North’s Michael Rosen unloaded on the first pitch of the top of the fourth inning for a home run over the fence in left-center for his team’s lone run.
Two passed balls and a wild pitch helped Avon come up with its first two runs in the bottom of the fourth, setting the stage for the mercy-rule win. Stump’s walk-off walk brought Cory Ohradzansky home with the 11th run.
“All of our hits tonight were key hits,” Collins said. “Our whole lineup is made up of good hitters with high averages. They also have a lot of confidence in what they can do with those hits.”