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Lehigh LL 10U wins title!

Lehigh Little League’s 10U All-Stars were crowned District 20 champions in an emphatic 25-4 victory over Southern Lehigh in three innings on July 4 at Lehigh.

Lehigh pitcher Zane Balaziuk scored Lehigh’s first run after his leadoff walk, a double steal along with Colin Kelly, and a wild pitch.

Caleb Yoder had the first RBI of the game, and Jack Cresci’s 2 RBI triple to center put Lehigh up, 4-0, before Cresci scored on a wild pitch.

“I was kind of anxious at first because it felt like all the weight was on me because I was one of the older kids, and when I hit it, I was so shocked,” Cresci said. “I couldn’t even see it, but my friend told me that it bounced off the lip of the dirt and then went over the second baseman’s glove, and then it went into the outfield, so I just kept running because my coach at third told me to, and then I slid.”

Brady Collins doubled to left field, Noah Domitrovits singled to short left, and Collins scored on a wild pitch.

Two more RBI, one by Kelly and one by Yoder, made the score, 12-0, after the top of the first inning.

Southern Lehigh’s Logan Traub doubled to left center, but got caught between second and third base when teammate Josh Harrison’s hit went straight to Balaziuk, and Traub was tagged out, ending the bottom of the first.

Lehigh’s Johnny Shireman plated a run in the top of the second on an RBI ground out.

Southern Lehigh’s Isaac Brunner and Nathan Graham combined for 3 RBI to put the Spartans on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second.

Lehigh tacked on its 14th run on Mikey Kapsalis’s single up the middle. Marcus Stuart then delivered a base hit, and Lambros Dontas’s 2 RBI single along with Domitrovits’s double to left center made the score 20-3, scoring Shireman, who was hit by a pitch, and Brady Collins.

Logan Collins walked, and Anthony Petko and Kapsalis, on their second at bats of the inning, kept Lehigh’s offense going with back-to-back doubles.

“I think I got an outside pitch, and I hit it over to the right field side, and it felt good when I hit it,” said Kapsalis, who drilled the ball down the right field line on the first pitch.

Southern Lehigh scored its last run on a ground out after Logan Green’s single down the third base line, but Balaziuk forced a fly out to Yoder in left field to end the game and claim the district championship.

“It felt really awesome. When it’s the last out, everybody feels like the ball’s gonna get hit to them, and then when I saw he popped it up to me, I got so excited,” said Yoder, who headed straight to infielders Kelly and Shireman to celebrate. “We practice a lot. We work on hitting a lot during practice. We definitely were not expecting that (score).”

Lehigh won its first meeting with Southern Lehigh, 7-1, on June 29.

“I have to say, they’re a phenomenal team,” said Lehigh manager Dave Cresci, who is assisted by Kevin Kelly and Andre Balaziuk. “The game last weekend was very, very close. The score really doesn’t tell how competitive the game was. A hit here or there, and we’re up 2-0, and that’s it for the first four innings. It was really tight, so we knew they were really good and well-coached. We know they’ve got an excellent pitcher, Michael Magazzu, so we were expecting to see him today, and we did. But after that, I told the boys we just have to play Lehigh baseball.”

Balaziuk tossed 2 strikeouts, gave up 1 walk, and allowed 5 hits.

Southern Lehigh allowed 17 hits among four pitchers.

“I know the game got a little bit out of hand, score-wise, and I just wanted to make sure that they did it right. I wanted them to be respectful, just to keep the kids composed and to let them know they’re playing an opponent who came here and worked hard,” said Coach Cresci, regarding his trip to the mound shortly before Southern Lehigh’s final out. “One of the things we’re really adamant about is, you know, baseball is one thing, but we want the kids to be good young men, and if they’re better young men for having had this experience, then we’ve done our job, and that was just one example of just letting them know, hey, be composed, do it right, congratulate the other team, be happy for our team, but do it right, and that’s what I told them.”

Lehigh will compete in the Section 6 All-Star Tournament, scheduled to begin on July 13.

Press photo by Katie McDonaldLehigh Little League’s 10U All-Stars captured the District 20 championship on July 4, 2024.