Tonawanda News — Tyler MacNeil was filthy. Absolutely filthy.
MacNeil spun a masterful one-hit gem and Casey Trombley (four RBI) hit two home runs to lead North Tonawanda to a 7-1 win over Somerset in the NY District 1, 12U Williamsport Tournament that was played at the Ernie Soucia Field in the North Tonawanda National Little League Complex on Wednesday night.
The win puts the NT All-Stars at 2-0 in the tourney and clinches their spot in the semifinals that begin on Monday, June 30.
Authoring the most dominant pitching performance of the tournament so far, MacNeil struck out 13 batters, seven of them looking, and fanned the side in the first and fifth innings. He issued one walk in five innings of work that saw just two balls leave the infield: a harmless fly out to Trombley in center field in the fourth and a solo home run by Zach Johnson in the second inning that gave Somerset a brief 1-0 lead.
“He was throwing well. It was kind of boring in center field,” Trombley said with a smile.
The most impressive part of MacNeil's outing was that he didn't just 'throw.' He 'pitched.' He had a game plan and stuck to it.
“They were big kids,” said the youngster. “So I threw it low, at their knees.”
Even after he surrendered the home run, MacNeil shook it off and came right back fearlessly pounding the strike zone with a mix of fastballs, curves and especially deadly sinkers. After Johnson's home run, MacNeil needed just nine pitches to strike out the next two Somerset batters.
“He was keeping the ball at the knees and he wasn't walking kids,” said NT coach Dave MacNeil. “Which is key, not putting kids on base....He was consistently pitching at the knees, and I thought that was good.”