By Sean Greene 11:02pm, July 28, 2013
VIDEO: Highlights and Reaction from Newark National's Third Straight TitleNate Hardcastle pitched a four-inning one-hitter and slammed a home run to boost Newark National to its 3rd straight Delaware Little League Championship after a 12-0 victory over Millsboro Sunday night.
The defending champions won the toss and elected to bat first, and immediately put their downstate rivals in trouble after they drew a walk and a hit batter to start the contest. Joey Davis made Millsboro pay by hitting an opposite field home run, his 3rd of the tournament, to make it 3-0.
Two batters later Eric Ludman took an ankle-high fastball and golfed it off the screen over the left field walk to make it 4-0, with the lead eventually stretching to 5-0 before Millsboro even reached the plate.
Hardcastle took the early advantage and ran with it, using a powerful fastball and slick change-up to keep Millsboro off balance, recording at least two strikeouts in each of the four innings of the contest, with the only blemish being a solid single by catcher Ethan Watkinson to lead off the 2nd inning. Hardcastle finished with 9 strikeouts with no walks on the night.
Newark National's offense kept pouring it on, collecting back-to-back homers by Hardcastle and Davis in the second inning, Hardcastle's a two-run shot, to boost the lead to 8-0. Two more runs scored in the final two innings before the mercy rule was applied after four innings.
Newark National becomes the second team in Delaware history to three-peat in the state tournament joining M.O.T. from 2007-2009.
The Delaware Champions will face the District of Columbia winners in the first game of Mid-Atlantic Region Pool Play Friday morning at 11:00am in Bristol, Connecticut. The winner of the Mid-Atlantic Regional will advance to next month's Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
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