FREEHOLD, N.J. — The Elk-McKean Junior League All-Star baseball team scored a walk-off run on an error in the eighth inning to secure a 6-5 win over New Jersey in the winners’ bracket final of the East Regional Tournament at Michael J. Tighe park in Freehold, N.J. Monday night.
With the win, Elk-McKean advances to the championship game Wednesday at 10 a.m., as a win will send them to the Junior League World Series in Taylor, MI beginning August 12.
A Elk-McKean loss in the first game of the championship series would force a winner-take-all title game Wednesday at 1 p.m.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Luke Zimmerman reached on a walk to put the winning run on base.
Kaden Dennis then singled to left to put runners on first and second.
Jefferson Freeburg then laid down a bunt for a single, as Zimmerman came around to score the winning run on a throwing error by the pitcher on the play.
Both sides got off to a strong start at the plate, each plating three runs in the first inning.
After New Jersey went ahead 3-0 after the top half, Elk-McKean quickly responded in the bottom of the inning.
Aiden Zimmerman started the inning off with a single to left, then stole second and reached third on a fly out to center by Cameron Marciniak.
Harley Morris then brought Zimmerman in to score Elk-McKean’s first run on a bunt single.
Ethan Wells followed with a double to left, as Morris advanced to third on the play.
Morris came in to score on a single to center off the bat of Dominic Allegretto to cut the deficit to one.
Wells later came in to score on an error to tie the game at three after one inning of play.
New Jersey regained the lead with a run in the top of the second inning to go ahead 4-3.
Elk-McKean looked to respond once again in the bottom of the inning, as Freeburg singled, Ely reached on an error and A. Zimmerman walked to load the bases with nobody out.
Marciniak then hit a fly ball to right fielder, as Freeburg looked to tag and score the tying run, but was thrown out at the plate.
A line drive ended the threat as the game remained 4-3 into the bottom of the fourth, before Elk-McKean took their first lead of the night.
A. Zimmerman reached on a fielder’s choice, then scored the tying run on a triple to left field off the bat of Marciniak, who came in to score the go-ahead run on an error by the left fielder on the play.
Elk-McKean held their one-run lead into the seventh inning, but a New Jersey run in the top of the seventh sent the game to extras.
That is when L. Zimmerman scored the game-winning run on an error to send Elk-McKean to the championship game.