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Berlin Little League All Stars heading to state tournament

(July 16, 2015) One team from the Berlin Little League All Stars is heading to the state championships after dominating during district play, while another has reached the District 8 semifinal game.
The 9-10 All Stars advanced after Luke Mergott and Brenner Gursky combined to throw a six-inning, one-hit shutout against Fruitland on Sunday, leading the team to a 9-0 victory. Jack Quizgard added three key hits in the win, according to Coach Craig Lynch.
Mergott and Gursky previously no-hit Snow Hill en route to a four-inning slaughter-rule 13-0 victory last Friday.
While the pitching has been sterling during the early rounds of all-star play, allowing just four hits over five games, Lynch said the offense has been equally productive.
“We outscored our opponents 72-2, and both of those two runs were unearned – they were on walks,” he said.
Up next, the 9-10 team advances to the state tournament in Frederick, playing Conoccheague (District 1) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Last year, the 9-10 team took home the state championship, while the 13-year-old intermediate squad went all the way to the final game of the Little League World Series in Livermore, Ca.
Eric Snelsire, who coached the 9-10 team last year, led this year’s 11-12 team to the District 8 semifinal game, held after press time Wednesday evening, at West Salisbury.  
The team lost the opening round of district pool play 14-0 against Delmar, then rallied from a 6-1 deficit on Sunday to beat Fruitland 8-6.
“We tied it up in the fifth and won it in the top of the sixth with a two-out, two-run double by Evan Truitt,” Snelsire said. “That was a big win for us to come from behind against a good Fruitland team to stay alive.”
The 11-12 team won 8-1 against Willards on Monday in order to advance to the semifinals.  
Snelsire said his team is on the young side, with roughly half of his roster is made up of last year’s state championship team.
“It’s very similar to our team last year in that they’re kind of split between the age groups,” he said. “Our 11-year-old group is really strong, so it’s nice to join forces with the 12-year-olds and try to compete. To have to split the team between 11 and 12-year-olds is going to challenge us in some regard as we move forward, but at the same token these guys are really talented and they’ve worked hard.
“It’s been a really good couple weeks of practices, and everyone’s putting in the work to be as good as they can be. I’m really proud of them,” Snelsire added.
Lynch credited travel ball play with the across-the-board success of Berlin’s Little League all-stars, who seem to bring home state championships on a regular basis.  
“On my team, all but one player plays travel ball,” he said. “Without playing baseball year-round, the teams would not be as good as they are.
“We’ve got a couple of crazy parents like myself who are dedicated to it, and it only takes three or four parents like that … willing to put their kids in an opportunity to succeed and work hard and do the extra work to be good,” Lynch added.
Three of his team’s leading players, Mergott, Gursky and Cole Lynch, the coach’s son, are returning from last year’s state championship team. It’s not a coincidence, Lynch said, that all three players work out 12 months a year.  
“All the credit goes to them for all the hard work they put in,” he said.