ARDSLEY, N.Y. — There is something about pitching on McDowell Field that brings out the best in Rye’s Max Kenney. The right-hander kept Ardsley’s potent offense in check Saturday, allowing three hits and striking out seven in an 11-1 District 20 Little League Baseball Majors Baseball Championship tournament win.
The game was stopped after four innings because of the mercy rule that calls for the game to end if a team is leading by 10 or more runs after five innings.
It was Rye’s fifth consecutive win in the losers bracket and third straight by mercy. Rye will play winners bracket survivor Eastchester in the final at 5:45 p.m. Monday at Pat Henry Field. Rye will have to beat Eastchester twice to win the title.
Earlier in the playoffs, Kenney was instrumental in Rye continuing in the tournament with a victory over Elmsford.
Kenney followed the scouting report Rye manager Greg Hale prepared for him. And Kenney immediately set the tone for the game, striking out the side, all looking.
“They had a few big hitters so I wanted to jam them inside and keep them off balance throwing off speed,” Kenney said. “The first inning helped me a lot because they had three of their best hitters up. After the first inning is when I felt comfortable.”
Ardsley, which had scored 30 runs in its three games, was without a hit through three innings before Ricky Chenard led off the fourth with a single. He scored on a Julian McGarvey single.
Rye banged out 13 hits, including four doubles and a triple.
Rye scored three runs in the second with two outs, and added four more in the third to take control.
Mat Bruno delivered the big hit in the second inning. With the bases loaded, he floated a single to left, scoring Gavin Kenny and Owen Hull. In the third, Hull had the impact hit — a double over the third-base bag resulting in T.J. Lavelle and Andy Back scoring.
Kenney said Rye is excited to be playing for the title. He said the key throughout this run has been Rye’s offense.
“We have never given up and we’ve been hitting the ball hard,” Kenney said.
Lavelle had a run-scoring triple, Billy Chabot and Gavin Kenny each drove in a run with a double and Max Kenney added a RBI single.
Ardsley 000 1 — 1 2 2
Rye 034 4 — 11 13 0
RBI — A: Julian McGarvey; R: Mat Brady 2, Owen Hull 2, Max Kenney, T.J. Lavelle, Gavin Kenny. 2B — R: Dusty Mion, Owen Hull, Billy Chabot, Gavin Kenny. 3B — R: T.J. Lavelle. WP — Max Kenney. LP — Tyler Olmo.