KAU Kings 16U All-Stars win Pennsylvania Senior Little League Championship
● By ACL
The KAU Little League Kings won the Pennsylvania State Senior Division 16U Championship and will represent the state at the regional tournament in West Deptford, N.J. From left ot right are are: (kneeling) Andrew Jones, Eric Duerr; (front row) coach Mike Pechin, Seth Singer, Jake Freeman, Johnny Burns, Dan Garver, Chris Tucker, Ryan Barrett, Eric Takoushian, manager Todd Duerr; (back row) coach Rob Jones, Tucker Reese, Joe Zirolli, Alex Pechin, Drew Jarmuz. Absent from the photo is coach Chris Jarmuz.
When most of the members of the 2013 KAU Kings 16U Senior Little League Team were first named all-stars as 9-year-olds, they began one of the most successful runs of post-season success in the history of the league.
Having won numerous sectional and district championships over seven years, the Kings finally added an even bigger prize to those titles by winning the Pennsylvania State Senior Little League Championship by a 12-1 score over DuBois. Kennett Square will be the Pennsylvania state representative at the Senior Little League Regional Championships in West Deptford, N.J.
The KAU Kings finished as the top seed in the Eastern Bracket after pool play in the State Tournament. Forced to play a back-to-back doubleheader due to a rainout, the KAU 16-year-olds defeated Montoursville 4-1 in the semifinals before turning around to play DuBois in the nightcap championship game.
With a game-time temperature of 59 degrees, Kennett Square pulled off a safety squeeze play in the fifth inning and scored on a wild pickoff throw to first base to take a 2-1 lead. In the top of the sixth inning, KAU put the game away. After taking a 3-1 lead on a run-scoring single by Joe Zirolli, the Kings loaded the bases with one out for Andrew Jones, who drove in two runs for a 5-1 KAU lead.
Thanks to several walks by DuBois’ pitchers and some uncharacteristic errors by a DuBois squad that became known in the tournament for its stellar defense, Kennett Square continued to score while keeping the bases loaded with just one out. By the time the KAU 16s had batted around, they had a 7-1 lead. DuBois errors ultimately led to four more runs before Zirolli finished the scoring for Kennett Square with a run-scoring single.
The KAU 16U squad advanced to the State Tournament after winning the Pennsylvania Section 7 Championship over Greencastle, 16-0. The Kings won all three games via the 10-run rule and did not give up a run. KAU showed its power during the Sectionals. Eric Duerr hit three home runs, Zirolli blasted two and Andrew Jones added a grand slam.
Kennett Square won its third consecutive and sixth District title in seven years to insure its spot in the Sectional Tournament, defeating West Bradford 13-3. Once again, the Kings went undefeated in the tournament. They gave up only eight runs while scoring 41.