RYE, N.Y. – Max Kenney found himself thrust into a uncomfortable situation Saturday.
The 12-year-old pitcher was called on with the bases loaded, one out and Rye leading by one run over Scarsdale in a District 20 Little League Baseball Major’s Championship first-round game.
Kenney limited the damage to one run, and his teammates responded in the bottom of fourth by scoring four runs en route to an 8-5 victory at Disbrow Park.
Rye plays Harrison in a winner’s bracket game at 5:45 a.m. Monday at Brentwood Park. Scardsale falls into the loser’s bracket and will play at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at Sherman Park.
“I just wanted to throw strikes and not walk anybody,” said Kenney, a seventh-grader-to-be at Rye Middle School. “When I walked the batter, I had to forget about it and focus on getting the next batter.”
Following the walk to Joe Weintraub, scoring Andrew Halperin to make the score, 4-4, Kenney, who would get the win, retired the next two batters.
“Once I got the strikeout I knew there were two outs and we still had a force at any base,” Kenney said.
Brett Egan, who hit a two-run homer, doubled and scored two runs, was impressed with Kenney’s poise.
“Max stayed relaxed and is a great pitcher,” Egan said. “When he got the strikeout, we knew he was going to get us out of the inning.”
Rye answered Scarsdale’s run with four. Kenney led off the fourth with a walk. Pinch runner Billy Chabot moved to third on T.J. Lavelle’s double to right field. Mat Bruno’s infield single scored Chabot. Lavelle came home on a Dusty Mion ground out, Brady scored on an error and, after Egan doubled, he came home on a wild pitch.
“Coach Hale told us we needed base runners because that leads to runs,” Egan said. “He told us that if we got on base, good things would happen.”
Bruno and Mion also scored two runs.
Evan Maroney doubled, had three walks and scored twice for Scarsdale. Andrew Halperin singled and scored two runs, and Greg Gatto had an RBI single, as did Will Hoffman. Hoffman pitched a scoreless fifth inning and also made a fine defensive play at first bat to steal a hit.
In the fifth inning, Halperin, Maroney and Gatto turned a double play.
Scarsdale 201 110 – 5 5 2
Rye 202 40x – 8 7 0
RBI – Sc: Greg Gatto, Will Hoffman, Joe Weintraub; R: Brett Egan 2, Dusty Mion, Mat Bruno. 2B – Sc: Evan Maroney; R: Brett Egan, T.J. Lavelle. HR – R: Brett Egan. WP – Max Kenney. LP – Greg Gatto. Save – Dusty Mion.