Lawrence tops HTRBA in 10 inning duel to force Championship Game

Luke Nelson HTRBA Little League
Luke Nelson works in relief for HTRBA against Lawrence in the 8th inning. Photo by Michael A. Sabo

July 7, 2018 – If you like thrill rides, then the District 12 Little League tournament should be right up your alley and The HTRBA “Mercer Maulers” is just the team to take you on an emotional roller coaster.

HTRBA would fall in a wild 10 inning showdown to Lawrence by a final of 11-4.

Lawrence jumped out to a 4-o lead in the 2nd inning after Gio Brogel hit a triple that was inches inside the right-field foul line against HTRBA starting pitcher Chris Babkowski.

Babkowski soon after found his groove going five innings and registering 11 strikeouts.

With the early lead, the pitcher duel ensued with Lawrence starter Ben Pawlak going pitch for pitch with Babkowski mowing down the “Mauler’s” hitters only allowing one hit through his first four innings of work.

Then just like the last time these two teams met to do battle on July 4th, HTRBA would start to scratch and claw there way back into the game.

With 2 outs in the 5th inning, the Maulers would find a way to load the bases for catcher Dan Leon who launched a grand slam over the right-center field fence to tie the game at 4 all.

It was beginning to look like Deja vu’ all over again as they would go again into extra innings for the second time.

The “Maulers” would turn to a trio of relief pitchers of Luke Nelson, Noali Ortiz, and Jack Burke.

But in the top of the 10th inning, nearly 8 innings later the Lawrence bats would come to life when they would launch two 3-run dingers and a solo homer that would force a final game.

The two will meet again on Sunday at 1 pm to decide which of the two teams will be crowned District 12 champs and head to Ocean County and try to keep there hopes alive in the road to Williamsport.

Buckle up, we’re positive it will be another thrill ride not for the faint of heart.

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