West Point Little League trio captures District 26 baseball titles
There was a time the West Point Little League baseball teams took a backseat to the softball teams.
Not anymore. The baseball teams are starting to make more noise than the girls.
Much of that is because the boys programs continue to survive and are getting players returning to the program after playing travel ball.
The girls program has chosen the travel-ball route for the most part, but it is hosting the Little League 11-year-old state tournament.
West Point won as 10s in 2018.
The West Point 10s, 11s and 12s celebrated District 26 baseball titles this week and advanced to sectional play.
The West Point 11s opened the section tournament Friday against Norwin at Rostraver. This is the first time since 2011 the three West Point teams have won district titles. That year, all three lost in the state finals. The teams are similar: They have good pitching and strong hitting.
“We have a deep group,” 12s coach Eric Butler said. “Everyone can pitch, which is a key, and the lineup is strong top to bottom.”
The 12s open section play at 6 p.m. Saturday against Ingomar (North Allegheny) at Rostraver. The team went 5-0 in District 26 play, defeating Kess three times and Freeport twice. It beat Kess, 9-0, in the finals.
“We’re a well-balanced group that has good baseball IQ,” Butler said. “No drop-off in our order from top to bottom. There is no relief, which is good. They know how to play for 12 years old.”
Dylan Firmstone was the winning pitcher against Kess, and Sean Walker was one of the players who had a big day at the plate.
Keith Fulton is the manager of the 11s. They won two games to advance to the section. West Point defeated Apollo-Kiski in a best-of-three series by winning 4-3 and 9-2.
“I wish we would have played more games before the tournament,” Fulton said. “We have figure out things pretty quickly. We’ll definitely find out more about the teams this weekend.”
Fulton’s son, Karter, pitched 101⁄3 innings in two games against Apollo/Kiski and struck out 17. Owen Teslovich also pitched in the series, and Eli Meeder added a walk-off single to win the first game in bottom of the sixth.
Coach Fulton said Hank Fligger and Noah Smith contributed with hits and stolen bases off the bench.
The 10s, coached by Mike Semelka, open section play Tuesday at West Kittanning. After losing two of its first three games, West Point rallied to pull things together late.
Deer Lakes, which defeated West Point, 7-4, in pool play, was no match in the championship game as West Point won 17-3.
Brody Chismar had three hits, including two doubles. Dominic Scarton had a triple, and Mikey Monios had two hits, including a double.
Winning pitcher Luke Semelka collected four hits.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .