FREEHOLD, N.J. — The Elk-McKean Junior League All-Star baseball team opened East Regional play Friday with a 4-0 shutout of Freehold, N.J., the District 19 New Jersey host team at the event.
The duo of Logan Wells and Aiden Zimmerman needed just 76 pitches throw a combined one-hitter. Zimmerman notched the win in relief.
Wells went the first 3 1/3 innings striking out one and walking one. Zimmerman allowed Freehold’s one hit — a leadoff single to Dylan Kohler in the sixth.
Freehold managed just four runners overall in the game, with the Pennsylvania state champions committing one-out errors in both the fifth and sixth innings.
Withg Wells and Zimmerman shutting down the Freehold offense, Elk-McKean got all the offense it needed with a run in the top of the first.
Harley Morris reached on a two-out error before Wells singled and Dominic Allegretto walked to load the bases. Luke Zimmerman was then hit by a pitch, forcing home Morris to make it 1-0.
Elk-McKean proceeded to pound out nine more hits over the final six innings but could only score three more runs as Freehold starter Anthony Sirico did a nice job limiting the damage against him.
Elk-McKean tacked on a run in the top of the second.
Jefferson Freeburg drew a leadoff walk, then Luke Ely and Aiden Zimmerman each singled to load the bases with no outs. A fly out to left by Camron Marciniak proved to be not deep enough to score a run, but Morris came through with a clutch one-out single to score Freeburg to put Pennsylvania up 2-0.
That’s all Elk-McKean could muster though, as Wells flew out to left field and Ely was thrown out trying to tag and reach third on the play.
Morris ripped a leadoff double in the fifth but was stranded at third by Sirico, who also was aided by a double play in the sixth following a leadoff single by Kaden Dennis.
Elk-McKean finally got to Sirico for two more insurance runs in the seventh to all but put the game away.
Morris jump-started the rally with a two-out single. He stole second before Wells singled himself. After Wells took second, Collin Porter delivered a two-out single to left to score both Morris and Wells to set the eventual final at 4-0.
Morris led the Elk-McKean attack, going 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Wells and Ely each had two hits in the victory.
Aiden Zimmerman retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to send Elk-McKean into today’s winners’ bracket semfinals of the double-elimination tournament.
The Pennsylvania champs are scheduled to battle Maryland at 4 p.m., for a spot in Monday’s winners’ bracket finals. maryland beat Delaware, 6-5, Friday.