Little League: Back Mountain National rolls past Lakeland in Section 5 opener

PLAINS TWP. — Back Mountain National couldn’t ask for a better start or a better finish to its Section 5 Little League Major Baseball opener Tuesday evening.

National scored six times in the first inning and tacked on five in the third, defeating Lakeland 11-1 in a game shortened to four innings because of the 10-run rule.

“You get up four, five, six runs in the first inning and we’re going to be tough to beat,” National manager John Oliver said.

District 31 champion National, which improved to 8-0 in all-star play, will play in the winners bracket final at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday. District 32 champ Lakeland will play in an elimination game at 5:30 p.m. All games in the tournament are at the Plains Little League.

Lakeland fell to 7-1 in all-star action. It had surrendered 14 runs in its previous seven games.

“They fought. That’s all you can ask for at this point,” Lakeland manager TJ Horan said. “Rough start. Our pitcher had a tough time finding it, and it just got away from us.”

National’s first four batters reached base in the bottom of the first. Landon James led off with a walk, Kolby Shook singled up the middle and Justin Morris walked. Jack Oliver then walked to force in a run. An out later, Joey Nocito walked to make it 2-0. Christian Maier then delivered the big blow, a grand slam to center for a 6-0 advantage.

Lakeland got a run in the top of the second. Aiden Babarsky opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored on a two-out double to right-center by Owen McPartland.

Those hits were the only Lakeland got off three National pitchers. Starter Justin Morris and relievers Luca Pietraccini and Cole Langdon combined to strike out nine.

“We wanted to keep everybody under a certain amount (of pitches),” Oliver said. “We wanted to keep everybody available for (Wednesday). We lose Justin, but we have our two big guns ready to go tomorrow if need be.”

National had only three hits but used Lakeland errors and defensive lapses and walks to score five more runs in the third.

Oliver led off the third with a walk, Mitch Onzik singled and Nocito was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. A throwing error on Maier’s grounder allowed Oliver and Onzik to score. Nocito caught the Lakeland defense napping and dashed home as well.

A walk to Talan Geskey and another defensive mistake allowed Maier to score. Trevor Cunningham brought in the final run with a sac fly for an 11-1 lead.

“We’re a very good team and recognize when they’re not paying attention,” Oliver said. “We recognize great situational baseball.”

Section 5 Major Baseball

Back Mtn. National 11, Lakeland 1 (4 inn.)


Pochas cf`1`0`0`0

Finegan ss`2`0`0`0

Magnot p`1`0`0`0

Loomis p`1`0`0`0

Malak 1b`1`0`0`0

N.Babarsky ph`1`0`0`0

A.Babarsky 3b`1`1`1`0

Hallow ph`1`0`0`0

Stephens 2b`1`0`0`0

Passiment ph `1`0`0`0

Lozinski c`1`0`0`0

McPartland rf`1`0`1`1

Spataro lf`1`0`0`0



James 2b`1`1`0`0

Cramton ph`0`0`0`0

Shook c`2`1`1`0

Cunningham ph`0`0`0`1

Morris p`2`1`0`0

Oliver 3b`0`2`0`1

Onzick 1b`2`1`1`0

Nocito ss`0`2`0`1

Maier rf`2`2`1`4

Landgon lf`1`0`0`0

Geskey ph`0`1`0`0

Mason cf`1`0`0`0

Pietraccini p`1`0`0`0


Lakeland`010`0 – 1

Back Mountain National`605`x – 11

2B – McPartland. HR – Maier.

Lakeland `IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Magnot L`0.1`2`6`6`4`1



Morris W`1.2`2`1`1`1`4