Nailbiter: Brookville tops Warren Boys Minors in bottom of 6th; Americans get another shot at title Friday at home

The entire all-star season will come down to one game.

Brookville’s Kyle McBeth was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, forcing home the winning run in the Warren Boys Minors Americans’ 8-7 loss, Thursday, at Betts-Jackson Field in Warren.

Since Warren won the winners bracket, Brookville needs to defeat Warren twice in order to win the District 10 championship. After Thursday’s contest, a coin flip was held to determine the location of Friday’s winner-take-all game. Warren won the toss and will host Brookville at 6:30 p.m., Friday, at Betts-Jackson Field.

The winner is Little League D-10 champion and will represent the district at sections in Union City.

Brookville struck first in Thursday’s contest collecting a key two-out single in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Warren failed to score in the first two innings and trailed 2-0 entering the top of the third.

There, the Warren bats began to heat up.

Tyler Gustafson led off with a single and Ryan Rafalski followed with a double to put two runners on with nobody out. Micah Passmore was up next and his two-run single scored Gustafson and pinch-runner James Swanson to tie the game at 2-2.

After a Ben Salapek sacrifice bunt, Jacob DeSimone gave Warren its first lead of the game with an RBI single that scored Passmore. Before the inning was over, Warren led 4-2 after Swanson scored when a ball put into play by Hunter Loomis was misplayed for an error.

Brookville tried to answer back in the bottom of the third with an RBI single from Jack Krug, but Warren maintained a 4-3 advantage through three innings.

That advantage increased by a run in the fourth after Gustafson doubled, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on Rafalski’s grounder to the right side. Again, Brookville answered, scoring twice in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game.

The see-saw affair continued in the fifth with Warren jumping back ahead, 7-5. With runners on second and third, Dylan Maeder laid down a perfect bunt and beat the throw to first for a hit. On the throw to first, Swanson raced home to put Warren back up, 6-5. Gustafson followed Maeder with a sacrifice fly that scored Max Conklin, pushing Warren’s lead to two.

Brookville stole momentum back quickly in the bottom of the fifth, getting within one on Krug’s solo homer over the center field fence that made it 7-6. Later in the inning, a bases loaded walk forced home the tying run making it 7-7.

Rafalski was inserted into the game to pitch with two outs and the bases loaded. He responded with a big strikeout to end the inning and keep things tied at 7-7.

Warren failed to push a runner across the plate in the top of the sixth and Brookville needed just one run to win the game in the bottom of the sixth. Bryce Rafferty started things with a hard single to short and Krug moved him up a base with a groundout.

Next, Elliott Park – son of former Sheffield High School football coach and current Brookville Boys Minors coach Scott Park – flied out, pushing the potential winning run to third base with two out. Brookville batters would use patience to work two consecutive walks, loading the bases and bringing McBeth to the plate.

A pitching change was made to keep Rafalski under his pitch count, but McBeth was hit by a reliever with an inside fastball, forcing home Rafferty with the winning run.

Gustafson, Passmore and DeSimone all had two hits each with Passmore adding a team-high two RBI. Rafalski, Salapek, Swanson, Loomis, Alex Borger and Maeder had one hit each.

Warren 004 120 – 7 12 3

Brookville 201 221 – 8 9 3

2b-Ryan Rafalski (W), Jacob DeSimone (W), Tyler Gustafson (W), Bryce Rafferty (B). HR-Jack Krug (B). WP-Wyatt Griffin. LP-Rafalski.