Geo. Kinsman Inc. caught fire at the end of the Honesdale Little Baseball Assocation’s regular season.
The?Red Sox surged to a 10-win campaign, then ran roughshod over their playoff competition en route to the 2012 Junior Division championship.
“We really had an excellent season,” Coach Darryl Rhyne told TWI?Sports. “We were kind of a hodge podge group at the start, but things really came together down the stretch. It was a lot of fun.”
Kinsman put together a 10-4 record, then reeled off three straight wins over the Mets, Yankees and Marlins to cop the crown.
“We were a very young, inexperienced team,” Coach Rhyne said. “So, we focused on fundamentals...got back to the basics..and that paid off in the long run.”
While every single player on the Kinsman roster contributed to the title run, a quintet of talented young players provided on-field leadership all season.
Daniel Becker and Cory Johnson were a potent 1-2 pitching combo.
Becker batted #3 in the Red Sox order and, when he wasn’t pitching, he played shortstop. The 10-year-old righty earned high marks from his mentor for consistency on the mound.
“Daniel wasn’t overpowering, but he was always around the strike zone,”?said Coach Rhyne. “He kept batters off balance with a fastball and change-up.”
Johnson was a revelation in just his first year of organized baseball. A flame-throwing 11-year-old, Cory amassed nine strikeouts in his three innings of playoff pitching action.
“Cory kind of became our closer late in the season and in the tournament,”?said Coach Rhyne. “He throws the ball incredibly hard for his age. Cory was just overpowering.”
While Becker and Johnson were busy frustrating enemy batters, a trio of sluggers provided all the offense they’d need.
John Ulrichs paced the Red Sox assault. Another first year player who quickly evolved into one of the division’s most feared power hitters, Ulrichs led his team with an eye-popping .771 batting average.
“John just got better and better as the season went along,”?said Coach Rhyne. “He improved every single time we played.”
Peter Judge and Elizabeth Rhyne also contributed key plays during Kinsman’s run to the Junior Division title.
Judge is a 12-year-old who anchored the Red Sox infield at first base. Peter paced the squad in both RBIs and doubles.
“Peter is defintely a power hitter,”?said Coach Rhyne. “It seemed like he hit a line drive every time he came up to bat.”
Rhyne developed into the consummate contact hitter over the course of the 2012 season. Elizabeth batted in the 2-hole, played second base and led the team in singles (27) and on-base percentage.
Page 2 of 2 - “Elizabeth is a total team player,”?Coach Rhyne said. “She has a really positive attitude...always looking to help out her teammates any way she can.”
Kinsman defeated the Mets in the quarterfinals (10-8), the Yankees in the semis (6-2)?and the Marlins in the championship game (9-4).