By Will Harrigan
For a little over two hours, Sunday night’s Spring Fever 12U championship game was more akin to a heavyweight fight.
The finalists, Mid-Atlantic Show and Morris County Cubs, traded haymaker after haymaker, putting up crooked numbers inning-after-inning in a game that more closely resembled a football score.
But, in the end, it was Tommy McSorley who delivered the knockout punch for MA Show.
McSorley’s two-run opposite field blast proved to be the difference, as MA Show, based out of Gloucester County, slugged its way to a 14-12 victory over the Cubs at Diamond Nation.
The victory capped off an impressive 4-1 tournament run for MA Show, which lost only to the Mid-State Mavericks in pool play before mercy ruling the same team, 14-2, in the semifinals.
“This was a tough tournament to win,” said MA Show coach Mike Yeager. “Every team we saw in pool play, alone, was really, really good. Then in the finals, we knew we were low on arms and had to really hit the ball. And the kids did.”
Did they ever.
Brody Taylor, who garnered MVP honors for the winners, ignited a four-run rally with a one-out RBI triple in the first inning. Taylor would come around to score on the ensuing pitch when an errant offering made its way to the backstop to double the lead to 2-0.
A Gio Tomasetto single and a McSorley walk got things going again, and Luke Yeager’s RBI single plated a run. A subsequent Cubs error on the throw made it 4-0 after half an inning.
But the Morris County Cubs have a program that has produced many college hitters in its decade old history, and it showed in the first.
The Cubs countered with a seven-spot to take back the lead. A two-run double by Frankie Falco and a run-scoring single by Vinnie Santorelli gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead with only one out recorded.
Alex Voli would lace a single to center to extend the edge to 6-4, and leadoff man Cooper North took a pitch to the back with the bases loaded to cap off the explosive Cubs rally.
But, not to be outdone, MA Show would launch an eight-spot of their own in the second.
The big blow came off the bat of three-batter Brody Orr, who launched a three-run shot to left field to score Will Visconto and Carson Brandt.
“There are different ways you have to win games. We won a low scoring game in pool play and slugged this one out to win it. You have to adapt game-by-game,” Yeager said.
Luke Yeager added another clutch hit to score a pair of runs to help give MA Show a 12-7 lead after an inning and a half that took one hour to play in real time.
Before McSorley’s decisive blast, the Cubs had one more rally left in them, too.
A five-run fourth inning was highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of North. Jaret Haupt taking a pitch off his back with the bases loaded allowed the Cubs to tie things up at 12-apiece after three and a half innings.