If there were any questions as to who would be the MVP from this year's Dean Patterson Little World Series coming into Saturday night's championship game, Cumming Motors pitcher Travis Luensmann made the decision pretty easy.
Luensmann struck out 17 batters out of the 18 outs recorded and added a home run in the second inning as Cumming Motors edged McCabe Trucking at Centennial Field, 2-1, to capture the 23rd annual Dean Patterson title.
"I have to throw as hard as I can and locate pitches," Luensmann said of his thoughts entering the game. "I had to make sure they didn't hit the ball, and we did that today."
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Cumming Motors players mob pitcher Travis Luensmann after the final out Saturday night.
Luensmann allowed just two hits in the game and was the only batter to not strike out.
"(Luensmann) has been my horse all year when it comes to pitching," Cumming Motors coach Kevin Stewart said.
The win did not come easily for Cumming Motors, as McCabe Trucking's Corey Chamberlain delivered a gem of his own.
Dean Patterson wins consy
Dean Patterson won the consolation game of the Dean Patterson Little World Series, 10-6, over fellow East End Youth League team Penn Med on Saturday at Centennial Field.
Trent Whaley and Nick Plank hit homers for Dean Patterson, and Tyreke Green and Lyric Koelle hit homers for Penn Med.
DEAN?PATTERSON 10, PENN?MED 6:?HR-Green, Koelle (PM); Whaley, Plank (DP). Multiple hits-Green 2, Charles 2 (PM): Day 2 (DP). SO-Charles 7 (PM); Whaley 7, Day 3 (DP).
The 11-year old allowed four hits and had 14 strikeouts out of the 15 outs made.
"It was a great pitching duel," Stewart said. "(Chamberlain) from the other team had a curveball that was faking my guys out. He threw some heat and kept it going. Those kids didn't quit."
"I knew coming in it would be a great game," McCabe Trucking coach Ben Chamberlain said. "I knew about Luensmann and what he could do, and Corey had it going as well, so I knew it would be a low-scoring game that would come down to a hit here or there."
The score remained 1-0 until Chamberlain returned the favor in the fourth inning with a blast of his own to left field that knotted the game at 1-1.
After the home run, Luensmann appeared to throw harder, as he struck out McCabe's next six batters.
"Coach told me to shake it off," Luensmann said. "I knew I couldn't let (Chamberlain's home run) get to me, so I refocused and restarted."
"We have been working on his composure on the mound," Stewart said. "When he gets into those situations and faces adversity, I remind him that he belongs on the hill and that's his role."
Cumming Motors looked to answer quickly during its half of the fourth inning.
Josh Scalice singled, Luensmann walked, and Cumming had runners on second and third with one out.
After a Cumming Motors strikeout, Dylan McNelly hit an infield singled that scored Scalice for the eventual game-winning run.
McCabe did not make the sixth and final inning easy for Cumming Motors and Luensmann.
Canaan Burkett walked and Connor Oakes singled to start the inning and had runners on second and third with no outs after Oakes stole second.
Luensmann struck out Chamberlain and walked Seth Musselman, before striking out Joe Ridenour and Sammy Moyer to end the game.
"Travis really stayed together and pulled it out at the end," Stewart said.
Coach Chamberlain was pleased with his Claysburg entry and its efforts.
"I'm very proud of our team," Chamberlain said. "Our league had 26 kids and just two teams, so to come in and compete with these teams in Altoona means something. It shows Claysburg has very talented players, and there will be more to come down the road, too."
Stewart saw it all come together with a group he has worked with for years.
"Most of these kids I've coached since they were 5 or 6 years old," Stewart said. "They mean a lot to me. I can't say enough about them, but they come every day to win and play with their hearts. That's what is great about them. They really love the game of baseball, and that makes me want to coach them even better."
Game notes: McCabe Trucking's Seth Musselman and Dean Patterson's Nick Plank were named the home run kings of the tournament as each finished with four.
McCABE TRUCKING (1): Burkett c 200, Oakes 2b 201, Chamberlain p 311, Musselman ss 200, J. Ridenour 3b 300, Moyer 1b 200, L. Ridenour rf 200, P. Dibert lf 200, H. Dibert cf 200. Totals - 20-1-2.
CUMMING MOTORS (2): Stewart ss 300, Rhodes 1b 200, Scalice c 211, T. Luensmann p 111, Whetstine cf 200, McNelly 2b 201, Adams 3b 201, J. Luensmann lf 200, Delgudice rf 100, Lawson eh 200. Totals - 19-2-4.
SCORE BY INNINGS
McCabe Trucking000 100-1 2 0
Cumming Motors010 100-2 4 0
HR-Chamberlain, T. Luensmann. RBI-Chamberlain, T. Luensmann, McNelly. WP-T. Luensmann. LP-Chamberlain. SO-T. Luensmann 17, Chamberlain 14. BB-T. Luensmann 2, Chamberlain 4.