Vineyard Little Leaguers in World Series hunt


Martha’s Vineyard had a great start to the Little League World Series qualifiers on Saturday, as both the 12U and 11U ballclubs collected wins off-Island.

The 12U team, coached by Ernie Chaves and Adam Cummings, came back from down 6-3 in the sixth inning to send it to extras, walking Bridgewater off on a wild pitch in the seventh. 

Meanwhile, the 11U team, coached by Dan Doyle, Moira Silva, and Chris White, received terrific performances on the mound from Luke O’Connor and Emmett Sylva, leading the Vineyard past Middleborough 6-4.

“We’re really seeing the kids gelling — they’re showing a lot of growth,” Coach Silva said. “They’re really excited to be a part of [the LLWS]. Their attitudes are great.”

Spearheading the 12U team’s rally was a bases-loaded double from Tiernan Crowell in the sixth, scoring Mateo Lynch and Hollis Tilton. After a Pablo Begle sacrifice fly to tie it 6-6, Bridgewater made a huge play in left, sending it to extras. 

Back on the mound, Anthony Fuller quieted Bridgewater’s bats in order. In the bottom of the seventh, River Loughman doubled Tyler Alton to third, who then scored on a passed ball to win it.

Pete Rosbeck also pitched four innings with two runs for the 12U squad, mirroring Luke O’Connor’s stellar performance for the 11U team.

O’Connor tallied 10 strikeouts across four innings of work, and was relieved by Sylva, who locked down the win. After conceding three first-inning runs, the Vineyard pitchers held Middleboro to just one run over the next five frames.

“We witnessed something special with Luke,” Coach Silva said. “He’s a cool little athlete.”

Pacing the Vineyard’s offense were two hits and two runs from Rye Silva, and two RBIs from Alo Blake.

The 11U team also played their second-round game this past week, falling 8-7 to Barnstable at home on Monday afternoon. The Vineyard outhit their opponents 12 to 7, but had a sixth-inning rally end on a close call at second base.

Seven different Vineyard players crossed the plate on Monday, as Rye Silva collected two hits once again and Willy Bologna recorded two RBIs.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo Doyle and Luke O’Connor made some nice plays in the field for MVLL, and Marlin Goodwin pitched five strikeouts with one run.

Since the LLWS qualifiers are structured as a double-elimination tournament, the 11U squad will play for its tournament life against Bog Town Little League of Carver at 4:30 pm on Thursday at Penn Field. 

The 12U club will travel to play the winner of Sandwich and Bog Town on Saturday, time TBA.