Cam Napior was lights-out on the mound, and his offense erupted for 15 runs as the Cubs beat the A’s 15-0 in a battle of the Major League leaders in Martha’s Vineyard Little League play Tuesday night at Penn Field in Oak Bluffs.
Mr. Napior struck out 10, and allowed one hit and two walks in a complete-game effort, shortened to four innings because of Little League run differential rules.
Latham Higgins powered two triples, Liam Marek had two hits including a three-bagger, and Mr. Napior helped his cause with two hits and four RBIs. Tristan Scott had a run-scoring single for the Cubs, now 8-3 on the season.
Charlie Porterfield roped a solid double to left field in the A’s half of the third inning to deny a no-hitter for the Cubs.
The game began as advertised with A’s hurler Micah Simmons sandwiching a strikeout around two ground balls to retire the Cubs. Cam Napior returned the favor with two Ks and a flyout.
It began to unravel for the A’s in the second inning, which began with a highlight-reel catch by centerfielder Cole Lambert, robbing Latham Higgins of extra bases. The strike zone disappeared for A’s hurlers as the Cubs used three walks, a hit batswoman (Ashley Brasefield, who took one for the team with the bases loaded), and two base hits.
The strike zone virus also affected the Cubs in the A’s half of the second as Cam Napior walked two with two outs before recording an inning-ending strikeout.
The A’s misery continued in the third. A succession of hurlers surrendered five walks to patient Cub hitters, and hit a batter while allowing four hits, putting another nine runs on the Cubs side of the scoreboard.
The A’s made the best defensive plays with Cole Lambert’s catch and Jack Lionette going deep in the shortstop hole for a backhand pick and throw, robbing Ms. Brasefield of a hit in the third inning.
Tuesday was just one of those days that happen in baseball.
So, with a quarter of the season left to play, the Cubs stand at 8-3 and the A’s at 7-4 as the five Major League teams compete for a spot in the championship game in late June.