OCYAA, Upper advance in Little League

By TOM WILLIAMS

The Ocean City Youth Athletic Association and Upper Township Baseball both survived pool play in the Little League District 16 Tournament Sunday night and will advance to the double elimination championship bracket.

And, they will play each other in the first round.

OCYAA actually lost Sunday night, 8-4, to Downbeach, which draws players from Ventnor and Brigantine. The loss dropped Ocean City into a three-way tie with Downbeach and Hammonton in the pool. The top two teams advance into double elimination play and the first tiebreaker is fewest runs allowed.

Ocean City allowed 12 runs in its four pool play games, Hammonton allowed 15 and Downbeach 17. That put OCYAA in first place and Hammonton in second. Ocean City won the tiebreaker because of its pitching and defense.

Upper Township won Sunday night, 8-1, over Greater Wildwood, which also includes Middle Township. That clinched a spot in the final bracket for Upper. Northfield defeated Somers Point, 22-0, to finish undefeated and in first place in pool play.

The first place team in each pool will play the second place team in the other pool on Tuesday. Therefore, first place OCYAA will host second place Upper Township at 5:30 at the Harry Vanderslice Complex. And first place Northfield will host Hammonton at 7 p.m.

The winners and losers will play each other on Friday.

All four of these programs have a pretty good history in the District 16 Tournament.

Northfield is the defending champion and also won two other times. Hammonton has won 12 times, the most by any community, the last one in 2006.

OCYAA won the district championship in 2013 and then combined with Upper Township in 2014 to win again. Upper then won the title on its own in 2015 and 2016.

Ocean City and Upper Township combined their teams into one league during the regular season this spring but entered the tournament separately.

On Tuesday, they start off the final bracket against each other.

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