ATHENS — In a back-and-forth contest, Athens plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh to post a 7-6 win over cross-town rival Sayre in a District 15 Little League Minors game Friday night.
The win gives Athens the Mid-East pool title and a home game in the first round of bracket play.
Even though Athens came out on top, it was Sayre that broke out to take an early lead.
Brendan Cooke reached on an error to open the first inning and then swiped both second and third. Maison Apgar ripped a single to left and Cooke opened the scoring. Justin Koenig added a base hit to move Apgar to second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball. On a subsequent wild pitch, Apgar scored. Koenig also attempted to score on the play but was out at the plate.
Athens got one run back in the bottom of the inning. Sam Cheresnowsky got the rally started with a one-out double. After taking third on a passed ball, Cheresnowsky scored on an error.
Athens tied the game in the bottom of the third on a Connor Davidson triple and an error.
Athens took what appeared to be a commanding 5-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kandyn Wheeler walked to open the inning and scored on a Peter Bertsch double. Bertsch went to third on the play and Brycen Wood walked. After two outs were recorded, Davidson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Duncan Thetga’s walk brought one run home, and when Alex McQuay was hit by a pitch, another run scored.
Athens seemed to be cruising until Sayre tied the game in the top of the sixth. Brady Flynn reached on an error and Ty Owen walked. After both runners advanced a base on during an out Cameron Ross came through with a two-run single. Ross would later score on an RBI single by Apgar.
After getting out of the bottom of the sixth without giving up a run, Sayre took the lead in the top of the seventh. Brady Flynn opened the inning with a single, took second on an error and stole third. Ross then lofted a sacrifice fly to send Flynn home.
Athens ended the game with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Kamden Wheeler reached on a one-out single, and Peter Bertsch walked. Wheeler scored on an RBI single by Cartyr Cockroft. Cheresnowsky then came through with a game-winning RBI single to send Bertsch home.
Athens was led at the plate by Cheresnowsky who had a single, a double, a run and one big RBI. Thegta added two singles and one RBI. In addition, Davidson had a triple and a run; Bertsch had a double, two runs and one RBI; Wheeler had a single and two runs; Cockroft had a single and an RBI; and Brycen Wood had a run.
Davidson started on the hill for Athens, allowing two runs on two hits and a walks with five strikeouts in two innings. Neither run was earned. Thetga fanned three in 1 1/3 innings; Wheeler allowed three runs, one earned, on two hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings; and Cockroft finished it off by allowing one run on a hit and a walk.
Apgar led Sayre at the plate with two singles, two RBIs and a run. Ross had a single, three RBIs and a run; Flynn added a single and two runs; and Koenig ended up with a single.
Cooke started on the hill for Sayre allowing two hits and a run with two walks and three strikeouts in 1 1/2 innings. Flynn went two innings, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk; Apgar pitched three innings and allowed two runs on two hits with five walks and five strikeouts; and Koenig finished up, allowing one hit.