Saturday’s regional sports roundup: Atlee girls DQ’d from national Junior League title game on ESPN2 because of … – Daily Press
LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL:
The Atlee Little League’s dream run through softball’s Junior League World Series ended in a nightmare Saturday morning, just hours before the Richmond-area team was to take the field in the ESPN2-televised championship game in Kirkland, Wash.
Little League officials in Williamsport, Pa., disqualified the team of 12-to-14-year-olds because of an inappropriate social media posting. Atlee manager Scott Currie told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the post, which followed his team’s win over host Kirkland in a semifinal Friday, reflected bad sportsmanship.
Six Atlee players were photographed making a hand gesture often described as “flipping the bird,” with the words “watch out host” underneath. An Atlee player posted the photo on Snapchat, according to the Times-Dispatch.
Also according to the Richmond paper, Currie said after the post was called to his attention, it was deleted immediately. He arranged for his team to apologize in person Friday night to the Kirkland players. He said after the apologies, a Kirkland coach praised the effort.
But Saturday morning, Atlee still was disqualified.
According to the Times-Dispatch, Atlee coach Chris Mardigian said the issue was retaliation against some members of the host team who had treated the Atlee girls with less than ideal hospitality.
Kirkland lost 7-1 to the Poland Community Little League team of Youngstown, Ohio, in the final.
Friday’s game ended with a player and coach from the Kirkland team being ejected for stealing signals while on second base and relaying them to the batter.
Currie told the T-D he wasn’t sure what rule Little League officials invoked to justify the disqualification. The organization’s rules recommend that discipline is first handled by coaches.
In the Hampton Roads 7 Cities Pro-Am League men’s title game at Lake Taylor High, Brandon Plummer scored 24 points to guide the 757 Money Team to an 88-80 victory over East Beach Auto.
East Beach’s George DeGroat, who had 10 points Saturday, was named the men’s MVP for the season. BJ Jenkins netted 32 points for East Beach in the title game.
In the women’s final at Lake Taylor, UNC Wilmington’s Gigi Smith earned MVP honors while scoring 19 points to help TowneBank defeat Pepsi 80-66. Norfolk State product Gabrielle Swinson led Pepsi with 27.
Smith went to UNCW alongside Coach Karen Barefoot, under whom she played for Old Dominion.
Coastal Plain League:
The Peninsula Pilots continued their push for a high seed in the Petitt Cup playoffs, winning their regular-season home finale 7-1 over the Edenton Steamers.
The Pilots (32-22), whose road record is better than their mark at War Memorial Stadium, finished 14-13 at home and pulled even with Fayetteville for first place in the East Division, a half-game ahead of Wilmington (31-22).
Fayetteville is scheduled to play Sunday and Monday, while the Pilots are idle Sunday and will wrap up the regular season Monday at Morehead City.
The Pilots enhanced their bid to earn home-field advantage in the playoffs, which start with Tuesday’s single-elimination clash against a team to be announced. They could finish at seed 1, 2 or 3 in the East — Edenton has clinched the fourth seed and will play at the first seed, while the third seed will visit the second seed.
In the second inning, Southern Indiana’s Sam Griggs hit a two-run double and scored on a single by William and Mary’s Kyle Wrighte, putting the Pilots ahead 3-0.
In the fourth inning, Wrighte scored from first base on a dropped fly ball to boost the margin to 4-0.
Southern Indiana’s Drake McNamara hit his third home run in three games to make the score 5-1.
Griggs hit an RBI single in the eighth, in which Mercyhurst’s Drew DelSignore and Southern Indiana’s Logan Brown scored for the Pilots.
VCU’s Ryan Fox improved to 4-1 by striking out three and pitching five innings as the Pilots’ starter.
Edenton fell to 29-25, 12-14.
Pedro Alvarez and Mike Yastrzemski slugged home runs for the Norfolk Tides (52-61), who held on to beat Durham 5-4 at Harbor Park.
The home runs put the Tides ahead 5-0 in the second inning. The Bulls, the runaway South Division leaders, fell to 69-43.
A three-run triple to right-center field by Pat Leonard pulled Durham with a run in the fifth, but neither team scored again.
Former Virginia Cavalier Tyler Wilson (5-6), the Tides’ starter, pitched through the fifth inning for the win. Norfolk’s Logan Verrett, Jimmy Yacabonis and Richard Rodriguez combined to allow one hit and two walks over four shutout innings of relief.
Alvarez’s 25 home runs are tied for the fifth-most in a single-season in Tides history, six shy of the franchise mark of 31 that Roberto Petagine set in 1997.
The Richmond Flying Squirrels’ road game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats was postponed because of heavy rain in Manchester, prompting a 1 p.m. Sunday doubleheader.
Katzer, a rising York High senior who has committed to swim in college for Tennessee, swam a personal-best time of 1 minute, 12.08 seconds.
Meanwhile, in the Futures championships, CGBD’s Morgan Miller placed fourth in the 200 butterfly in 2:16.89. She’s a Mary Washington competitor from Cosby High in Chesterfield County.
The father-son team of Chris and Tyler Cruz led the Newport News Doubles men’s 4.5 round-robin standings after the first day of play at Huntington Park. The Cruzes need one more victory to take the crown home to Poquoson.
In men’s 4.0, the tandems of Matthew Randall-Gabe Randall and Denis Liu-Steve Petit advanced to Sunday’s 11 a.m. championship match.