Robinwood captures Division III state championship

The Robinwood Little League 9/10 All-Star team reached the pinnacle of postseason play.

An overpowering performance during the past month gave Robinwood four tournament titles, the last of which was the Division III State tournament championship Sunday when the locals routed Westchester, 16-3, in a game halted by the mercy rule after four innings at Temple City.

Robinwood set the tone for the best-of-three championship series Saturday when it blanked Westchester, 5-0.

Robinwood won the Sub-Division III South tournament title last week to advance to the Division III State finals. Westchester had won the Sub-Division III North title.

Robinwood's pitching, which got off to a rocky start, turned out to be the story of Saturday's 5-0 win in the series opener. After loading the bases and throwing 31 pitches in the first inning, Andrew Baldwin settled down and went on to pitch 4 2/3 shutout innings. Baldwin was followed by Jake Vogel and Rocco Peppi finished the game.

Baldwin also had an RBI double in the fourth inning and Vogel and Andrew Sojka each had two hits.

In the title-clinching victory, Robinwood actually trailed, 3-0, after allowing three unearned runs in the first inning. Robinwood fought back in the bottom of the inning to score four runs and took command in the bottom of the second by scoring 12 runs for a 16-3 lead.

Peppi went three for three with two RBIs and scored twice. Caden Kendle went two for two with three RBIs and three runs scored, Sojka blew open the game with a bases-clearing double, and Baldwin had two hits.

Sunday's finale was a fitting conclusion to Robinwood's postseason run, which saw the All-Stars win District 62, Section 10, Sub-Division III South and the Division IIII State championships. In tournament play, Robinwood outscored its 13 opponents, 144-23, in going undefeated. Of those 13 games, eight were won by mercy rule.

"These kids played their tails off," Robinwood assistant coach Geoff Kendle said. "Nothing was handed to them, they earned every run and every win.

"As parents, we talked early on about how far these kids could go, but none of us imagined winning State and doing so in the fashion that we did."

The Robinwood 9/10 All-Stars are: Andrew Baldwin, Bradley Coots, Zeke Franco, Christian Hill, Scott Fujita, Brayden Gratzer, Ryan Gregory, Caden Kendle, Evan Manzo, Rocco Peppi, Shane Stafford, Andrew Sojka, and Jake Vogel. Spike Sojka managed the team. Geoff Kendle and Steve Stafford served as coaches.

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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