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Little League Baseball: Avon 11U All-Stars pound Cuyahoga Falls South to keep season alive

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CUYAHOGA FALLS — Facing a win-or-go-home situation, the Avon 11U Little League All-Stars emphatically showed Monday that they want to play more baseball.

Avon jumped all over Cuyahoga Falls South, winning 19-2 in just four innings.

Avon moves on to face Cuyahoga Falls North on the road Wednesday seeking revenge and to keep its season going. Avon lost 2-1 to North last week.

If Avon wins, the teams will meet again Thursday at Avon for the district title.

“These kids put in a lot of hard work to get here and I could not be more proud of them,” Avon coach Phillip Pintar said. “They’ve gotten so much better since when we started and I’m excited to see where we can go.”

Not wanting to leave anything to doubt in this one, Avon dominated from the start.

They scored seven runs in the first inning, while holding Cuyahoga Falls scoreless through the first two.

Blake Elder, Grant Barr and Evan Masuga combined to throw a no-hitter, with the only blemish being 11 combined walks.

Barr had three strikeouts as the trio combined to fan eight in all.

“I was able to help my team and now we get to move on for another game which is awesome,” said Elder, who also played center field. “After this I think our team will feel strong in the next game.”

Elder was also a monster at the plate. He reached base in all four of his at-bats, picking up two hits and two walks. Both of his hits were doubles, and he drove in four.

His booming double to left-center gave Avon a 10-0 lead and he also came around to score twice in the game.

“I just tried to keep my eye on the ball, load back and pop it,” Elder said.

The knockout blow came in the top of the third inning. Despite already having a comfortable lead, Avon added five runs to take a 13-0.

Elder had a big hit in the inning, while Ben Shaffner also had a two-run double.

Shaffner had a similar game as Elder, reaching base in three times and hitting a pair of RBI-doubles.

“It felt great to get some hits after I struck out the first time,” Shaffner said. “This game was big and we all know we can hit the ball now.”

Shaffner had a two-run double in the first inning, quickly giving Avon a 3-0 lead. He also drove in four runs.

And he thrived on defense, too, making several big plays at third base, including a great stop and throw to home to keep a runner from scoring.

“Our team was just doing really well and having a lot of fun,” Shaffner said. “It’s hard work at first before the games but it’s all fun after that.”

The offensive outburst was a welcome site for Pintar, since Avon was only able to muster one run in their tournament opener Friday, losing in extra innings.

It was an entirely different story Monday as Avon erupted for 16 hits.

“It felt like we were tight in our first game so hopefully we can keep what we did today going into our next one,” Pintar said. “I tell these guys to just hit the ball and have fun, and they did that today.”

Five Avon players had two hits and the team cranked out six doubles and two triples.

Elder, Shaffner, Barr, Oliver Dobrovic and Carter Jenny all had two hits.

All 10 batters in the lineup had a hit and 13 Avon players reached base at least once.

Dobrovic had a double and triple while also scoring twice.

“It’s a lot of fun when we’re all doing so good out there,” Elder said. “We’ve gotten really close this season and it is great to win with these guys.”

Contact Paul Williams at (440) 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

Avon 19, Cuyahoga Falls South 2

Avon                            715 6 — 19 16 1

Cuyahoga Falls South 001 1 —   2   0 2

HITTING: (A) Elder 2, Barr 2, Shaffner 2, Jenny 2, Dobrovic 2.

2B: (A) Elder 2, Shaffner 2, Masuga, Goblirsch. 3B — (A) Dobrovic, Brokaw.

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