AVON — Cooper Docherty and his Avon teammates decided things early Saturday in Little League Majors
(age 11-12) district tournament play at Veterans Memorial Park.
Docherty had three hits — including a two-run home run — drove in three and scored twice as Avon won easily 9-1 over Elyria East in a rain-shortened four-inning game.
Not only did Docherty have his way at the plate, he struck out eight and allowed only one hit — a home run by Lorenzo Ortiz — in picking up the win, Avon’s third in tournament play.
“Cooper’s a workhorse,” Avon coach Kevin McNamara said. “The greatest thing about Coop is he’ll play wherever you ask him. I could put him at catcher, first, center field, shortstop, pitch — and he’s a gamer. He’s the kind of kid that when he wakes up, he thinks about sports. He a quarterback on the football team, plays guard on the basketball team — he’s extremely athletic. That’s the type of kid that always leads us. Coop really doesn’t get down even when he strikes out.”
Avon jumped on East for four runs in the top of the first after losing the coin flip to determine the home team. Josh Rattay led off with a walk and advanced to third on Jack Roesch’s double to the fence in left. Docherty then drove in Rattay with a bloop double down the first-base line and Avon was off and running.
The only thing that slowed Avon was a hard rain that halted play after Avon added five more runs in the top of the fifth for a 14-1 lead. It was at that point that officials ruled the field unplayable, giving Avon a 9-1 win.
“We haven’t lost a district game,” McNamara said of this group. “We’re back-to-back district champs for this age group.”
Docherty, Noah Lindon and Roesch all hit home runs for Avon. Ben Yanoska helped the cause with two hits and two RBIs. Tommy McNamara, the coach’s son, and Jackson Myers had the other hits.
“The thought coming in here, we didn’t want to take any opponent lightly,” the elder McNamara said. “We know, typically, Elyria East is going to bring kids who can play ball.”
Avon next plays at the winner of Green and Cuyahoga Falls North on Wednesday.
“We just need to be more aggressive at the plate,” East coach Jon Koepf said. “That’s what (Avon) did. They swung the bats and good things happened. We didn’t do that enough. We needed to jump on (Docherty’s) fastball early in the game.
“We’ll have a couple days to get some practice and work on the stuff we need.”
East, 1-1 in the tournament thanks to a forfeit win over Cuyahoga Falls South, will play the Hudson-North winner Wednesday.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.