AGES 9-10 — Righthanded relief pitcher Cooper Henderson quelled a major threat in the top of the sixth inning as Ellsworth held on for a 5-3 win over York in its opening appearance on Sunday afternoon at the Demeyer Field complex.
The District 1 champs had fallen behind in the top of the first inning when Sam Desmarais walked, went to third as Jack Bouchard reached base on an Ellsworth error and scored on a groundout to second by Sam Johnson.
But righthander Hunter Cote, who pitched into the fifth inning for Ellsworth before reaching the maximum pitch count, struck out eight batters and allowed just two hits over the next three innings.
And after going one-two-three in the first inning, the Ellsworth bats came to life in the second against York righthander Garrett Lillie.
With one out, Henderson drew a walk and went to second on a wild pitch.
Asa Jordan followed with a double to deep right field, scoring Henderson, and Trent Mahon then beat out a bunt single, moving pinch runner Sam Giffin to third. A walk to Orion Jordan loaded the bases.
Jack Lee then bounced into a force at home for the second out of the inning, but Troy Folmer drilled a single, driving in Mahon and Orion Jordan, and Henderson followed with a single to score Lee with the fourth run of the inning.
York scored a run in the top of the third when Bouchard slapped a two-out single, went to second on a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
With one out and a runner at second in the fifth, Cote was relieved by lefthander Nick Bagley, who struck out Bouchard and got Johnson on a groundout to second.
Johnson came on to pitch in the bottom of the inning for York, and ran into immediate trouble.
Bagley drew a walk, stole second and went to third on a groundout by Zack McGraw.
Cote struck out, and Colby Todd came on as the second pitcher of the inning for York.
Giffin, who had been inserted to run for Bagley at third, scored when Henderson walked on a wild pitch ball four.
In the top of the sixth, Ellsworth manager Jon Mahon pulled Bagley before he reached a count of 20 pitches, thus saving him for pitching action in the next game.
That brought Henderson on to pitch with two runners on base and one out.
He struck out Matt Ford but then walked Lillie to load the bases, and York’s Peter Solimine raced home from third when Ellsworth misplayed the ball on a throw back to Henderson after a pitch to Desmarais.
But Desmarais then bounced the ball back to Henderson, who bobbled it but threw to first in time to record the final out.
For more sports news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.