CHESAPEAKE CITY—Rising Sun Little League played Caroline Little League twice during the Senior Baseball State Tournament, and both times the Cecil County squad surrendered six runs in the first inning.
The July 12 state championship game was no exception.
Despite the early deficit, Rising Sun slowly crawled back into the game, placing the tying run on base in the bottom of the seventh inning. However, it could not find a way to cross the plate as Caroline held on to an 8-7 victory to win the state crown.
“They kept on going. We were motivating them and telling them to get up there and swing the bat and play good defense,” Rising Sun manager Chris Tserkis said. “This whole tournament, it was two innings that killed us. Both of them came in the first inning against our starting pitchers. It’s unfortunate that they had to go through that. It is what it is. The reason we’re not in this tournament is because we had two bad innings this whole tournament. They were against Caroline.”
Tanner Young, Will Turner, Jeremy Bedford and Kyler Boyd each had RBIs for Caroline while the other two runs came on an error in the top of the first inning. Rising Sun started to make its comeback with two runs in the bottom of the first as Jackson Sowers delivered an RBI single and Xavier Gilcher scored on a double play.
Jayden Watkins drove in a run and scored on an error in the second inning to increase Caroline’s lead to 8-2, but those were the last runs the Eastern Shore squad would score the rest of the contest.
Daniel Tserkis had an RBI single and Willie Jackson had an sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third to cut Rising Sun’s deficit to 8-4. Matthew Trout then made it a three-run game in the fourth inning when he scored on an error.
Rising Sun’s deficit remained at three runs until the seventh inning when it made one last comeback attempt with two outs. After Sowers singled and Lane Weismiller reached on an error, Trout kept Rising Sun alive with an RBI single to make it a one-run game.
The comeback effort ended there as Caroline pitcher Chirs Curler induced a long fly out to center to end the game and start a state championship winning celebration.
“Anytime you finish runner up in a Little League tournament is a good thing, but to know how we became runners up is not a good feeling,” Chris Tserkis said. “Two innings finished it for us.”