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Younger All-Star group struggles in regional play

BERLIN– After going 10-0 in district and state play, the 9-10 Little League All-Stars have struggled at the Regional Tournament, dropping their first two games in Cranston, R.I.
Berlin, representing the state of Maryland, fell 10-1 to New Jersey on Sunday, Aug. 3 and 13-1 against Delaware on Tuesday, Aug. 5.
“I think the same thing happened in both games – we came out just a little bit flat and unprepared to really grind against good competition,” said Coach Eric Snelsire. “The other teams we’re playing up here are all going to be really good, so we have to be able to match that level of competition and we have yet to come out and really do that.
“We’ve had moments when we’ve run into some silly outs,” Snelsire continued. “Our bats really haven’t come alive yet. I will say the pitchers we faced in both games have been really good pitchers and to their credit kept us off the bases really well. When we did get base runners onboard we really didn’t take advantage of it. We left the bases loaded twice today and weren’t able to score any runs.”
Berlin put two runners on base to start the fourth inning on Tuesday, but was unable to score.
“It was just unfortunate,” Snelsire said. “That kind of killed our momentum early in the game. We kept battling and the kids never really quit, but we could never get the bats working enough to generate any momentum.”
The All-Stars played New York on Wednesday, Aug. 6 and Pennsylvania on Thursday. Scores were not available at press time.
“We’re not completely eliminated from advancing to the next round,” said Snelsire. “We just have to win the next two games and we need a little bit of luck on the other end from some teams losing. We’ve got to do our part first of all and start playing Berlin baseball. If we can do our part, hopefully we can get a little luck on our side and sneak in.”
Snelsire said the team paid closed attention to the Berlin Intermediate All-Stars during their run in the Little League World Series in Livermore, Ca. His son Ashten plays on the 9-10 team and his son Hayden played for the Intermediate squad.
“We actually hooked our laptops up to the big screen in our hotel here in the lobby and were able to watch a couple of the games on that, which was really nice,” he said. “That was kind of neat for the kids. We’re really just so proud of those guys out there. They really represent Berlin well, and I’m really proud to say I coached some of those kids and it was just exciting to see that Berlin put a team in the World Series and were one game away from winning a U.S. Championship. It was fun to watch as a father and as a fan.”
The coach said the success of both teams shows that Berlin baseball is “doing things in the right way.”
“We’re putting good programs in place that are benefiting the youth of our area, and I think the people of Berlin have adopted Berlin Little League as their own,” Snelsire said. “These boys have gotten so much support from the town. It’s so rewarding as a parent and community member .”