By Mike McClure

The Laurel Junior League all-star baseball team topped Mid Sussex, 14-1, in the Delaware District III championship on Sunday in Seaford.

“These boys definitely deserve it. It’s been a long time coming for these boys,” said Laurel manager Will Daye. “We had the defense and we put the ball in play.”

Laurel’s Uriah Taylor-Brown prepares to deliver a pitch during Sunday’s District III Junior League baseball championship. Taylor-Brown allowed one run on two hits and struck out seven in five innings in his team’s 14-1 win over Lower Sussex. Photo by Mike McClure

Mid Sussex’s Landen Roe hit a one-out single in the top of the first inning but was stranded by Laurel pitcher Uriah Taylor-Brown and his defense. Laurel got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Tristen Johnson hit a two-out single, went to third on errant pickoff attempt, and scored on wild pitch. A.J. Cannon walked, stole second, and scored on a single by Kayden Mitchell; Kalib Thompson singled in Mitchell; and Thompson stole second before scoring on a single by Nathan Moore for a 4-0 lead. 

Mid Sussex loaded the bases with two away in the top of the second following a hit by pitch, walk, and a single by Anthony Alo. Coy Collins walked to force in a run before Taylor-Brown recorded his third strikeout to keep the score at 4-1.

Laurel added to its lead in the bottom of the second when Max Allen hit a one-out single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and came home on a single by Taylor-Brown. Taylor-Brown stole second and scored on a single by Cameron Deiter, Deiter stole second and came home on a single by Cannon, and Mitchell singled in Johnson (hit by pitch) and Cannon (9-1).

Laurel scored three more runs in the third inning when Ty Jefferson walked and scored on a sac fly by Taylor-Brown; Allen singled and came home on a wild pitch; and Deiter walked and was plated by a wild pitch for a 12-1 advantage.

Taylor-Brown sent Mid Sussex down in order in the top of the fourth, striking out a pair. In the bottom of the inning, Cannon singled and Mitchell was hit by a pitch; Cannon stole third and scored on a wild pitch; and Mitchell came home on a ground ball by Moore. 

Taylor-Brown got two popouts and a strikeout in the top of the fifth to strand a runner and seal the 14-1 win.

Mitchell, Cannon, and Allen each had two hits; Cannon scored three runs and Dieter, Johnson, Mitchell, and Allen each came home twice; Mitchell drove in three runs; Taylor-Brown and Moore drove in two runs apiece; and Dieter, and Thompson added one RBI each. Taylor-Brown allowed one run on two hits and struck out seven in five innings.

“We feel pretty good. We’re pretty confident with these kids,” Daye said of his team, which will be the host team and will have a first round bye in the state tournament, which will also be played at the Nanticoke Little League in Seaford.