2007 Delaware State Little League® Tournament Results
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Delaware State Tournament
Major Baseball Division



Toward the past
2007

Toward the present

Delaware State Tournament
Host - Naamans (Wilmington) (District 2)

Participating Teams
District 1 Champions M-O-T (Middletown)
District 2 Champions Brandywine (Wilmington)
District 3 Champions Millsboro

Click here to view 2007 district tournament results for Delaware.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
M-O-T 9, Millsboro 8 (7 innings)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
M-O-T 2, Brandywine 1

Elimination Bracket Finals:
Brandywine 8, Millsboro 7 (elim.)

Championship Series:
Brandywine 11, M-O-T 1 (5 innings)
M-O-T 11, Brandywine 1 (4 innings; TITLE)


Summary:

Larry Mannering sat in the dugout, watching his team's pitcher fire a three-hitter in the championship game of the Delaware state tournament.

That was then. This was now.

This time, Larry Mannering sat in the dugout... and watched his team's pitcher fire a three-hitter in the championship game of the Delaware state tournament.

Forty-two years after right-hander Julius Woodlyn handcuffed New Castle to give M-O-T Little League its first-ever state title, Zack Flowers helped deliver the league's second championship, leading M-O-T past Brandywine Little League, 11-1 in four innings, in the deciding game of the Delaware state tournament at Jack Heeney Field in Wilmington. M-O-T, which had finished as the runner-up in three of the four most recent Delaware state tournaments, advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut.

"Whew, that was a long time coming," said Mannering, who as a twelve-year-old was a member of M-O-T's only previous state championship team. "I've been coaching a while, and this feels great. I'm very proud of these kids for the way they continued to fight."

M-O-T's effort helped to reverse the outcome of the previous night's result, when Brandywine extended the double-elimination tournament to a final game with an 11-1 victory of their own. But M-O-T took command early in the rematch, as catcher Chad Will lined a full count pitch over the right field fence in the top of the first inning with a pair of runners on base. Two innings later, M-O-T sent a parade of twelve batters to the plate during a seven run rally.

Flowers retired the side in order in the game's final two innings, and M-O-T added a final run in the fourth to involke the mercy rule.

"That was a huge home run," said Mannering of Will's first inning salvo. "It reminded our guys they could score some big runs. They were capable of hitting and playing a lot better than they did the night before, and that proved it."

Travis Glanding, Travis Hubler, and Dalton Gregory each added RBI singles in the third inning.

"That's a good team over there," said Brandywine manager Ed McTaggart of his team's title game opponent. "Our kids played hard."

M-O-T's two big innings were more than enough support for Flowers, who struck out five and retired the final eight batters he faced.

"I can't say enough about Zack," said Mannering. "He pitched beautifully all through the tournament. He's our number one guy, no doubt."

Flowers proved his mettle earlier in the tournament, striking out 15 and throwing a two-hitter against Smyrna-Clayton Little League in the District 1 championship game before combining with Hubler on a no-hitter in a 2-1 win over Brandywine earlier in the state tournament. Flowers struck out nine batters over four innings in M-O-T's initial meeting with Brandywine, and gave his team a lead it never relinquished by lining a solo home run in the first inning.

M-O-T added a run when Jamar Baynard opened the fourth inning with a double off the right field fence before scoring on Glanding's single. Brandywine narrowed the deficit on Charlie Brooks' sacrifice fly in the sixth, and moved the potential tying run to third base before Hubler induced a game-ending groundout.

Brandywine pitcher Chris Biddle struck out ten batters in a complete game effort.

"It was a great win because our lead held up against a kid like Biddle, who throws in the low 70s (miles per hour)," said Mannering after the game. "We came in looking for fastballs, and Zack got one early."

Brandywine earned a rematch, using a six-run rally in the fifth inning to pull away from Millsboro Little League and record an 8-2 victory in the elimination bracket final. Biddle's RBI single snapped a 2-2 tie in the fifth, then David McTaggart launched a grand slam and James Rendle followed with a solo shot as Brandywine returned to the state championship game for the first time since the league won consecutive state titles in 1995 and 1996.

Brandywine extended the tournament to a final game, collecting 15 hits in an 11-1, five inning victory over M-O-T. Eight different Brandywine players contributed hits, and the District 2 winners broke the game open with a four-run rally in the fourth and six-run burst in the fifth. Mitchell Buzentke and Daniel Klusman both homered for Brandywine, and Charles Brooks added three hits.

Biddle, who allowed one run over five innings to earn the win, stranded seven M-O-T baserunners over the first three innings before his team pulled away.

"We had opportunities," said Mannering. "But they hit the long ball. Give them credit in that they came out and hit the ball."

The long balls came from unlikely sources, as Buzentke and Klusman's home runs were their first of the international tournament.

"With two guys hitting their first home run of the tournament, it really made it a team effort," said Ed McTaggart. "Different kids picking us up in different spots made it a team effort."

M-O-T weathered the storm, and sealed the tournament with a a pick-me-up of its own the next night. The team's pilot provided the most visible link between past and present. Mannering had pitched M-O-T to an 8-1 victory over Smyrna-Clayton in the district semifinals in 1965, long before Flowers' sterling effort helped lift M-O-T over the same hurdle in the 2007 district championship game.

It was a familiar route. A familiar roadblock. And for M-O-T, a welcome, familiar finish at the journey's end.

Follow M-O-T at the Mid-Atlantic Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


Linescores:

  Championship Series Game 2 1 2 3 4 R H E
M-O-T 3 0 7 1 11 10 -
Brandywine 0 1 0 0 1 3 -




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