TOWANDA — Athens led host Towanda for most of Monday night’s District 15 Little League Majors game but the part Athens didn’t lead was the only part that mattered.
Athens scored first and led through the first four innings of Monday night’s Elimination Bracket contest. Then Towanda put five big runs on the board in the top of the fifth and Athens’ comeback attempt fell short.
Athens, which outhit Towanda 9-5, opened the game well when Carson Rowe drew a walk. Rowe took second on a ground out and scored on an RBI single by Troy Rosenbloom. A wild pitch allowed Rosenbloom to take second and he scored on an error off the bat of Dylan Saxon.
Towanda got a run back in the second, but Athens went up 3-1 in the third on a double by Rosenbloom and an RBI ground out by Matt Driesbaugh.
Towanda made it a 3-2 game in the fourth, but the fifth inning was the killer. Towanda used two walks, two errors and two singles to take a 7-3 lead.
Athens fought back in the bottom of the fifth. Nick Grazul singled and took second on a wild pitch. Rosenbloom, who led Atherns with a double, two singles, two RBIs and three runs, laced an RBI single. Driesbaugh followed with an RBI triple and scored on an RBI ground out by Saxon.
The score stood at 7-6 through five innings but Towanda added one more in the top of the sixth.
Grazul tried to get Athens’ offense going in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out double, but Towanda was able to slam the door shut and close out Athens’ season.
Grazul had a single, a double and a run for Athens and Driesbaugh added a single, two RBIs and a run.
Saxon finished with a hit and an RBI; Eli Hobday and Rodney Chapman had a single each; and Rowe scored a run.
Saxon pithed the first five innings for Athens and allowed three hits, four walks and seven runs — of which just one was earned — with six strikeouts. Eli Chapman pitched the last inning and allowed two hits and an earned run with one strikeout.