On the eve of the Fourth of July, the Kennett Square-Unionville Thunder U-11 baseball team (KSU) won the 17th Annual Newtown-Edgemont Little League (NELL) Tournament Championship against the home team, Newtown-Edgemont, by a 10-3 score.
The Thunder went into the game with a 4-0 record, which included two perfect games that were won due to the 10-run mercy rule. Before the game, head coach Jeff Gentilotti told his players, "We've won four out of four, so let's continue that momentum and go home with some hardware!"
Starting pitcher Ethan Sarosi served as the Thunder’s “workhorse,” as he was pitching in his third game of the tournament in the championship. Sarosi also pitched one of the team’s earlier perfect games. As he began to tire against NELL, he gave up three runs in the fourth inning before Richie Kline closed out the game with a perfect last three innings.
Centerfielder/shortstop Zach Lindner had the biggest impact on the game’s scoring as he accounted for four of the seven runs the Thunder scored in the third inning to put the game away. Describing what his teammates called an “inside the park, grand slam,” Lindner said, “Before the at-bat, I thought how cool it would be to hit it out. But after I hit it, the left fielder bobbled the ball, Sam Gentilotti had a collision at the plate, and I just ran as fast as I could!”
Rightfielder Michael Walter-Dillon went three-for-three with three RBIs. He set the tone for the game by recording a double play in the first inning with NELL players on second and third base. After making a catch for the first out, Walter-Dillon made a sensational throw to catcher Garrett Pinkston, who tagged out the runner at the plate. Walter-Dillon also made a running catch to end the game. He attributed his big game to the brand-new pair of cleats he bought that morning.
The KSU Thunder team is made up of players from the KAU Little League and all are members of the League’s District All-Star Teams.