TOWANDA — One big inning proved to be decisive for Athens’ Little League Minors who beat Towanda 7-1 on Sunday.

The teams played scoreless ball for the first two innings, but that all changed in the top of the third. With one down, Zach Fisher ripped a single to left field, and Kamdyn Wheeler singled to center. Sam Cheresnowsky then walked to load the bases. Connor Davidson and Eli Hicks got Athens on the board with back-to-back RBI singles to the right side, but the bases remained loaded. Duncan Thetga then came through with a three-run double to right. The next three batters loaded the bases again, but Athens wasn’t able to send them home.

It hardly mattered at that point. There was a lot of baseball left, but Thetga had Towanda’s number from the pitching rubber. Thetga went four innings and allowed just two hits and one walk while fanning 10 before handing the ball to an equally effective Hicks. In two innings, Hicks allowed one walk, no hits and an unearned run with three strikeouts.

Athens added two more runs in the sixth. Cheresnowski reached on an error, Davidson singled and Hicks walked to load the bases. Thetga added an RBI ground out and Alex McQuay laced an RBI single to close out the scoring.

Athens rapped out 12 hits on the day led by the meat of the lineup. Batting third, Davidson had four of those hits, including a double, and added two runs and one RBI. Thetga, batting fifth, had a double and four RBIs; McQuay ended the day with two singles and an RBI from sixth in the lineup; and cleanup hitter Hicks had a single, a run and one RBI.

Wheeler, batting leadoff, had two singles and a run; and Fisher, batting ninth, had a single and a run.

On Tuesday, Towanda will play Wellsboro, a 15-4 winner over Susquehanna Area Sunday afternoon. The winner of that game will play at Athens on Thursday with the District 15 title on the line. If Athens wins that game, it will be the District 15 champion. If not, the two teams would play a winner-take-all contest on Saturday.

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