It all came down to one final meeting.
With the season series tied 2-2, both Maritime Services and McIsaac’s knew that nothing would come easy in the July 4 Little League Championship.
The players knew everything they needed to know about one another. The coaches knew everything they needed to know about the opposition.
The stage was set. The league’s youngest team (Maritime) versus the league’s oldest team in a battle for valley supremacy. It doesn’t get much better than that.
But, unfortunately, one team had to lose. And on this Independence Day, it was youth that prevailed, as second-half league champ Maritime, outlasted first-half champ McIsaac’s by a score of 18-12.
“This has been a big rivalry for us all year,” said Maritime pitcher/first baseman Elliot Sherrell. “We just stayed with it the whole game and made sure they couldn’t catch up.”
Sherrell and his teammates pounded out 11 hits — three each by Dylan Tiss and Dylan Bauld, two by Alex Van Slyke — and relied on two big innings (the second and sixth) to get the job done.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Maritime exploded in the second to score five runs. McIsaac’s came barrelling back in the bottom of the second, though, with a three-RBI triple by Travis Carratt, and an RBI triple by Adam Coerper.
But the deadlock would not last for long as Maritime picked up two more runs in the top of the third to go up 7-5.
The hard-hitting youngsters tacked on three more in the fourth, one in the fifth and seven in the sixth to solidify the victory.
“I’m so proud of these guys,” Maritime manager Larry Williams said. “I thought both teams played an outstanding game, but we really stuck to our strategy of putting the ball in play. I’d say that and keeping our strikeouts to a minimum were the keys.”
Williams was also highly complimentary of his third baseman, Van Slyke, who he said played the best defense of anyone on the field.
However, despite some individual standouts, both Williams and McIsaac’s coach Jeff Carratt tipped their cap to all the players for their sharp, focused play throughout the season.
“Both teams played all year to get here,” Williams said. “For many of the kids, it was the first time they had played in front of a big crowd like that (approximately 200 people), and I think they put on one heckuva show.”