The Yankees, who were the Cal Ripken League’s top seed, rolled to an 18-6 four-inning mercy rule triumph over the Phillies in Monday’s tourney title tilt.
The Yankees had four home runs in the lopsided affair. The league’s regular season champion built a 10-0 lead after two innings and it was never really threatened.
“We’ve done that all year,” Yankees coach Travis Lee said. “Our top two hitters both have seven or eight home runs. We just try to get our pitchers to throw strikes and then we want to put the ball in play. We got the momentum early tonight and that’s what you try to do with 11-12 year-old kids.”
The Yankees pushed across a run in the bottom of the first after back-to-back doubles by Chase Lee and Mateo Lemus.
From there, the game got one-sided quickly. The Phillies went down without a run in the top of the second and the Yankees responded in the bottom of the frame with a nine-run outburst that saw them send 12 hitters to the plate. Alan Lummel highlighted the big inning with a grand slam. Zac Whitely added a solo dinger in the frame.
“They’re a juggernaut,” Phillies coach Damon O’Connell said, alluding to his team’s talented opponent. “They led the league in home runs. They’re a predominantly older team with a lot of great players.”
The Phillies did show some fight. They got on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the third. Kurtis Roberts and Derek Manson both singled and scored later in the inning on a two-run single by Josh Prizina.
Leading 10-2, the Yankees offense kept pouring it on. They scored five more runs in the third. Lummel capped the outburst with a two-run single.
Once again, the Phillies got something going. They added four runs in the top of the fourth. All four were unearned, thanks in large part to a trio of Yankees errors in the inning.
The Phillies’ four-run rally kept the margin at single digits, 15-9.
It did not faze the Yankees. They pushed the margin back to double digits and ended the game early by adding three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Those scores all came plateward on a three-run round tripper by Lemus.
O’Connell knew his club was in for a tough test. The Phillies were 7-6-1 during the regular league season, prior to the city tournament. That left them with the tournament’s fifth seed, but a couple of upset tourney wins got the Phillies into the tournament’s championship game.
“We were happy to get here,” O’Connell said. We had a very young team. We drafted for the future. Our big kids carried us and our little kids improved. That’s how we got here. Our team definitely improved as the season went on.”