District 23 champs bow in Section title game
The Warwick Little League 10-11 All Stars completed a deep run into the tournament season and reached the Section 7 championship game after being crowned District 23 winners.
They were managed by Bill Christi and coached by Darel Seibert and Frank Zimmerman with an assist from Steve Bell.
Warwick’s District campaign began on July 5 with a come-from-behind 7-5 win over Solanco. Evan Rohrbach collected four hits, while David Woolley and Matt Seibert added three apiece. The key sixth-inning rally was ignited by a leadoff bunt from Tristen Barge.
With the Warwick bats coming to life, they easily dispatched of Conestoga Valley 15-2 in the semi-finals. Seibert had four hits, Tristan Horst ripped three hits, including a home run, and Rohrbach chipped in with three base knocks.
CV bounced back to defeat Solanco in the loser’s bracket final, earning another shot at Warwick in the championship game. But Warwick required only four innings to hammer CV 11-0, sealing the District 23 banner. Seibert went yard twice and Ethan Christi chipped in with a long ball.
The Section 7 Tournament was hosted in Dillsburg and pitted four District winners with a berth at States on the line. Warwick’s opener on Thursday, July 17 was against KAU Little League from Kennett Square and Unionville.
A heavyweight slugfest ensued, and going to the sixth, Warwick had a one-run 15-14 lead when KAU hit a two-run walk-off homer. Long blasts for Warwick included one each from Seibert and Christi, and two from Rohrbach.
Returning on Friday to face Exeter Little League representing Berks County, Warwick led early 2-0 and 4-3, but found themselves tied 5-5 entering the sixth. A leadoff hit from Trevor Bollinger started the rally as Warwick batted around and plated six runs. However, Exeter battled back in their final at-bats to make things interesting. But with the potential winning run at the plate, Rohrbach tug out a base runner attempting to score on a wild pitch, sealing Warwick’s 11-9 win.
On Saturday, Shippensburg Little League’s All Stars awaited. This time the tables were turned and Warwick was chasing a tight game the whole way, coming back from deficits of 2-0 and 5-2.
Entering the bottom of the sixth, they still trailed 5-4, but a one-out single from Barge plated Colton Miller with the tying run. Then with the bases loaded and Seibert at the plate, Shippensburg brought its defense up tight. Seibert settled matters by launching the first pitch over the center field fence for a walk off grand slam.
Warwick benefited from a gutsy start from Christi, who pitched 2!-E innings while battling a hand injury throughout the two tournaments, plus 3@-E shutdown innings from Rohrbach, with eight K’s.
Having earned another shot at KAU and needing to win twice, Warwick turned to Chase Horst to carry the load on the mound in game one. Another knock-down, drag-out hitting contest took shape with Warwick up 6-5 after three.
The fireworks were ratcheted up even more as KAU put up four and “chased” Horst in the fourth when he reached his pitch count limit. But Warwick responded with four of its own while now backing Bollinger on the mound. Bollinger recorded the third out of the fourth and the first two of the fifth before Warwick turned to Barge to notch an inning-ending K with the bases loaded, keeping KAU’s lead at two runs, 12-10.
Warwick put up one in the bottom on Rohrbach’s second homer of the game, but yielded another two in the sixth. That forced them to erase a 14-11 deficit in the bottom of the sixth. Colton Miller started it with a double, followed later by David Woolley’s two-out double. Representing the tying run, Seibert stepped up and delivered once again with a long home run to force extra innings.
KAU answered with five runs in the top of the seventh to regain the lead. Colton Miller offered a glimmer of hope with a two-run homer, but the magic ran out for the Warwick stars.
Warwick battled to the end and showed heart and determination equal to its high level of baseball skills.