WEST WINDSOR: Babe Ruth 15s edged for state crown

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Maybe sometime later this summer, before the players all head back to school, the Ewing-Hopewell and West Windsor-Plainsboro 15-year-old Babe Ruth all-star baseball teams can get together and play a deciding game seven.
The two teams met six times over the course of the Babe Ruth District One tournament and the Southern New Jersey state tournament, splitting the games with three wins apiece.
At the District One tournament, WW-P won two of the three meetings and captured the district title. At the SNJ state tournament, Ewing won two of the three meetings to capture the title and advance to the Mid-Atlantic Regional.
“I am very proud of my team,” WW-P manager Brad Mitchell said after a 3-1 loss in the championship game last Friday. “We had a great season. We won districts, which hasn’t been done in West Windsor since 2007. We went to the winner’s bracket finals at states and we lost a one-run game to this Ewing-Hopewell team.
“We won the next game (against Mount Laurel) and the way we came back in the first game down two runs with a 3-2 count and Jack (Lichtenstein) getting the single to tie the game and then going 11 innings to win, they just dug in and made the plays.”
WW-P entered play last Friday needing two wins to earn a state title. They trailed, 2-0, in the seventh inning when they rallied to tie the score on a two-out hit by Lichtenstein, who was named the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award winner. They went on to win the game, 3-2, in 11 innings before falling in the second game, 3-1.
“We didn’t hit well in either game,” Mitchell said. “We did what we do well. We pitched well. We caught the ball well. But we didn’t hit. And that’s a credit to the Ewing-Hopewell pitchers, they did a great job. I thought we were better than they were in Game One and they were better than us in Game Two. And we were the ones who had to win two games today so they win the championship. It was well earned by their kids.”
In the six games the teams played, each finished with a total of 24 runs. It was that close between the teams over the course of the two tournaments.
“I think we were dead even in runs,” Mitchell said. “It was just how it worked out this time. Their coach came up to me after the game and he said, ‘We never want to play you guys again.’ But they were all good games.”