It was already a special moment for Klyher Allis, who stepped onto the rubber strip in the center of the pitcher’s mound at Lions Field in South Williamsport.
It was his first start as an All-star for Williamsport Area Little League. It was going to be special, but for Allis and the rest of the Williamsport team, it was a little more special than even they realized.
Allis logged six strikeouts over five innings. He also didn’t give up a hit and scored the first run of the game in the 3-2 win over East Lycoming. It was a nice way to celebrate a journey that started just a year prior when Allis and his family moved to Williamsport from Watsontown.
Then Allis was the new guy on the team. He was quiet and rarely spoke until asked a question. His small stature didn’t help as he tried to find his place. Despite the shyness, Allis played much bigger and more aggressively than all that would indicate. His athleticism shined.
“It means the world to me,” Allis said. “I’m really happy to be playing with these guys and really having a good time.”
Allis struck out five of the first six outs he was charged with getting. He always seemed to have an answer for East Lycoming’s lineup. He mixed pitches and was greeted by energetic teammates after every inning as the game settled into a scoreless draw for the first four innings.
“I was just really excited to get out there,” Allis said. “I thought I had less walks and those strikeouts definitely helped us.”
Allis left the fifth with a no-hitter intact. East Lycoming made a move late, but Williamsport held on to finish the game and help Allis celebrate his first start in style.
“The team was definitely worried East Lycoming would come back in the game,” Allis said. “We knew we had the skill and the mindset to beat this team.”
This is the benefit of youth sports. Our area is filled with leagues and programs to help young athletes. The bonds created through these competitions last longer than the wins and trophies.
After the game Allis and his teammates gathered to talk to their coach. It was his first postseason start during his first postseason tournament and he helped lead his team to victory.
The District 12 Little League Tournament has been full of outstanding pitchers and performances. In the opening round of the tournament Gabriel Johnson led his team to victory with a dominant performance to beat Williamsport. Newberry’s Gavin Allen posted two strikeouts and gave up just one run against Jersey Shore/GSV to help pick up a win.