By TOM WILLIAMS
The Ocean City Youth Athletic Association defeated Upper Township, 15-5, tonight in the first round of the Little League Baseball District 16 Final Four. The game was played at the Harry Vanderslice Complex on 35th Street in Ocean City before a standing room crowd.
In the other opening round game, defending district champion Northfield defeated Hammonton, 10-2.
Those results set up two games on Friday.
Tonight’s two winners – Ocean City and Northfield – will play Friday at 7 in Northfield. And Upper Township will travel to Hammonton Friday at 7. The loser of the Upper-Hammonton game will be eliminated from the double-elimination Final Four.
Cole Laursen sparked the OCYAA offense tonight with a grand slam. Frank Rubba, Jack Reilly and A.J. Foster all had key hits for Ocean City. Evan Taylor, Colin Thompson and Vander Reeves split the pitching duties.
Regardless of what happens Friday, the OCYAA will play at home in its third game.
If Ocean City wins on Friday, it will play a team to be determined next Monday at the Vanderslice Complex. If Ocean City loses to Northfield, it will host the winner of the Upper Township-Hammonton game on Saturday night in an elimination game.