Collier Township Little League wins state tournament
When the Collier Township Little League team found itself in the 2012 Pennsylvania Little League tournament, it would have been understandable if the players were a bit nervous.
The winner of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament would move on to the Mid-Atlantic Tournament.
But according to assistant coach Steve Alauzen, there was one group of people more nervous than the players.
"The parents were much more nervous than the kids," Alauzen said. "The majority of the kids were in the 10-year-old tournament before so they were through it before."
If the nerves were too bad, the players didn't show it.
The team dominated the tournament until the finals, when it used a comeback to punch its ticket to the Mid-Atlantic tournament scheduled to start Saturday in Bristol, Conn.
The team opened the Pennsylvania tournament by defeating South Columbia, 12-3, and Hershey, 20-8. Collier Township then held on against Morrisville, 6-5, to advance to the finals.
Collier Township wasn't done with Morrisville, which reached the finals due to double-elimination rules and had gave Collier a scare before losing, 10-9.
Collier Township started the scoring in the second as the stormed out to a 5-0 lead.
Morrisville clawed back and took a 7-5 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Collier was facing elimination as it was down to its final out. But Reed Bruggeman drove two runs home to tie the score at 7.
Morrisville went up by two again in the top of the seventh, but Collier Township answered back.
The team rattled off four straight hits - including a two-run triple by Nick Serafino and the winning RBI single by Zach Rohaley - to advance to the regional tournament.
"We hit the ball well the entire tournament," Alauzen said. "Nine of the 11 kids on the team had home runs. I knew we had a pretty good team heading in to the tournament. I just wasn't sure how we would stack up in the state tournament."
The Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament features representative teams from Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The final two teams in the Mid-Atlantic tournament square off at 5 p.m. on Aug. 12 on ESPN 2 for the title.
The winner of that game will advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport to face the best teams from across the globe.