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Abdul-Hakim goes 5 2/3 to help Williamsport pickup an 11-3 win over Montoursville

Montoursville’s Niko Rotoli delivers a pitch during a District 12 Major Baseball game against Williamsport. Rotoli hit a home run in the game, but Williamsport advanced with an 11-3 win.

Montoursville’s Jaden Wilson throws to first after making a play at third during a District 12 Major Baseball game at Newberry.

Williamsport’s Makai Day runs to third during the fourth inning of a District 12 Major Baseball game against Montoursville. Day got to third for a triple and scored during the next at bat.

Williamsport’s Quentin Mazzante slides home during a three-run first inning against Montoursville. Williamsport outlasted Montoursville for an 11-3 win to advance to the District 12 Major Baseball Championship.

Williamsport’s Tarik Abdul-Hakim delivers a pitch during a District 12 Major Baseball game against Montoursville. Abdul-Hakim went 5 2/3 innings and kept Montoursville down to help Williamsport pull away for an 11-3 win.


For the Webb Weekly

WILLIAMSPORT—Cole Shuler extended his arm and made a running catch to make the first out of the fifth inning against Montoursville. 

The inning opened in Montoursville’s favor as the first two runners reached base and got into scoring position. Shuler’s grab appeared to save a run, but a quick throw in and relay by the Williamsport infield helped end the inning with a triple play.

The defense backed a masterful performance by Tarik Abdul-Hakim, who threw all 85 of his pitchers, went 5 2/3 innings, and extended Williamsport’s run as it defeated Montoursville 11-3 to advance to the District 12 Major Baseball Championship to play Keystone. After making its way through the loser’s bracket, Williamsport will needed to defeat Keystone twice, but it all starts Friday at 6 p.m. with what could be the first of two games. A victory from Keystone will make it the District 12 Champion. 

“It’s exciting to watch,” Williamsport manager Tariq Moore said. “To end your 12-year-old year of Little League like this is amazing. I couldn’t be more proud of them and the community should be proud of them. There were a couple times throughout this journey they could have given up, but they just keep battling back.” 

Williamsport was down 1-0 after the top of the first. It came back to score three runs in the bottom of the inning. In the second, Montoursville matched Williamsport only to have that score toppled by a bunt single from Klyher Allis.

Williamsport has overcome deficits in its last three games with each resulting in a win. Cole Shuler was a be reason for the win. He connected with a two-RBI double in the first, a single in the third, and another single in the fifth inning. 

“I was just keeping my head in and got my hands back and hit it,” Shuler said. “I fixed some things that I wasn’t doing real well. I came up and hit the ball. I didn’t know I was going to do that well, but I did.” 

Williamsport’s offense has just seemed to get better as games have progressed over the run. Williamsport has scored a combined 17 runs over the final three innings of its last two games. 

Makai Day opened the fourth inning with a triple and quickly scored when Deacon Brown grounded out to the shortstop. Williamsport’s offense scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth as Cadyen Roberston, who finished going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three more hit in, connected with the second of his two doubles to score two runs. Day also hit a runner in with a single and scored on Robertson’s double for his third run of the game. 

Williamsport’s offense connected with eight hits in the game, but two of the biggest came over the first two innings when Day and Allis bunted their way onto base. Day opened in the bottom of the first with a bunt single and Allis opened the second. Both scored with Allis’ leading to a 4-3 lead Williamsport would be able to hold until scoring seven runs over the final two innings. 

As the offense did its job throughout the final innings of the game, Abdul-Hakim and the defense held their own to hold Montoursville down. Abdul-Hakim finished with eight strikeouts and nearly went the distance in a game win which Williamsport didn’t have much in the way of pitching. 

“I did perfectly fine,” Abdul-Hakim said. “I came in and threw strikes. We’re hitting the ball. We’re fielding the ball perfectly.” 

Abdul-Hakim had a good game, but it was his pitching coach that made all the difference in the world. He moved Abdul-Hakim around the the plate and kept the opposition guessing throughout the game. 

“He was a kid that hasn’t pitched all tournament and we were just trying to make sure he hit his spots,” Roberston said. “He did a perfect job tonight and I couldn’t have asked anything more from him. He was getting his curveball over for strikes. He had two pitches he could throw for strikes and I just mixed them up. He executed.” 

As improbable as it seems, Williamsport will take on Keystone in what was one of the opening round games of the tournament. Williamsport has shown grit throughout the run. It will need everything it has against Keystone. 

Williamsport 11, Montoursville 3

MTV 120 000—3 5 1

WAL 310 16X—11 8 0

Niko Rotoli, Jimmy Mussina (2), Elias Eck (5), and Tyler Lightzee. Tarik Abdul-Hakim, Coen Britton (6), and Makai Day. 

WP: Abdul-Hakim. LP: Rotoli. 

Top Montoursville hitters: Niko Rotoli 2-3, HR, run, RBI; Tyler Lightzee 1-2, 2B, RBI. Top Williamsport hitters: Makai Day 2-3, 3B, 3 runs, RBI; Cadyen Roberston 2-4, 2 2B, 2 runs, 3 RBI; Cole Shuler 3-3, 2B, 2 RBI, run. 

Records: Montoursville 3-2. Williamsport 4-1. 

Next: Williamsport vs. Keystone at Volunteer Stadium, Friday, 6 p.m. 

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