Back Mountain American overwhelmed its first two opponents in District 31 Major Little League double-elimination play Monday and Tuesday.
The wins made BMA, one of four survivors from earlier pool play, the only unbeaten team in the field as it waited for an opponent to emerge from the elimination bracket. By winning the two games, BMA had two shots to successfully defend its title and return to sectional play.
BMA, which also features several players from a 9-10-year-old district championship team in 2012, hit three home runs in each game to pound West Pittston, 16-2, Monday and West Side, 12-1, Tuesday in a pair of four-inning games.
Will McCrum drove in seven runs with a grand slam and three-run homer against West Pittston. BMA went back-to-back when Justin Finarelli followed McCrum’s second-inning slam with another homer.
McCrum and Finarelli homered again against West Side when Phillips also homered.
Finarelli also had a three-run triple against West Pittston to finish with four RBI. Phillips was 3-for-3 and scored four times while Jake Connolly scored three times.
BMA opened the West Side game with a Phillips single, Connolly double and McCrum homer for a quick 3-0 lead before an out was recorded.
Finarelli had a three-run homer and Phillips a two-run shot.
McCrum finished with four RBI, Phillips had two hits and three runs scored and Connolly had a single, double and triple.
Joe Phillips coaches the team which also features Frank Nockley, Sam Nocito, Michael Starbuck, Jack Lukasavage, Chris Langan, Matt Maransky, Brett Ostroski, Dylan Schuster and Lucas McGeehan.
Major Little League is the 11-12-year-old bracket that advances players toward the Little League World Series in Williamsport.