It's the first step on the way to Williamsport, the ultimate goal of every child that plays Little League baseball. To get to the Little League World Series, you have to start with getting through your own District. For Oxford, the first game in the quest for a District 28 title was a match-up with Downingtown. But despite a late comeback try from Oxford, Downingtown held on for a 5-3 win.
Downingtown struck first, putting a run across in the top of the third. Alex Doyle ripped a one-out single down the left field line to get things going, and moved over to second on a passed ball. After Greg Richard moved Doyle over to third with a groundout, Tony Colamaro beat out an infield single to bring Doyle home with the first run of the game.
Two more runs came across for Downingtown in the fourth. Dan Harlowe was hit by a pitch with one away, and pinch runner Matt Scalia moved over to second on a passed ball. Bratt Hash followed with a single to left to move Scalia over to third. Scalia came home on another passed ball.
With Hash on third, Nicki short picked up an RBI with a sac fly to center. Barrett Arnold followed with a double down the left field line, but was left stranded.
Downingtown added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on a hit batsmen to Hash, a fielder's choice to Nick Short, doubles from Arnold and Richard, and an RBI groundout from Doyle.
Oxford finally got on the board in the fifth on a walk to Collin Moran. Moran moved up to second on a ground out from Shane Galante. Moran then scored on a pair of passed balls.
Down 5-1, Oxford wasn't ready to pack it in just yet. Chris Kennedy and Michael Weiss led off the bottom of the sixth with back to back walks, and moved over to second and third on a passed ball. Jordan Dodd delivered an RBI ground out to second to cut the lead to 5-2.
Joe Brumbley followed with a single to deep center to score Weiss. Moran came through with a single down the right field line, and Brumbley took off, and rounded third with thoughts of scoring. But the throw came into third, and Brumbley was unable to dive back in time.
Doyle threw the first four innings on the mound for Downingtown to pick up the win, allowing no runs on two hits. He struck out eight, and walked just two.
Arnold led the way offensively for Downingtown, notching a pair of doubles on the day. Also picking up hits for Downingtown were Matt Fioravanti, Doyle, Colamaro and Richard.
Downingtown followed up with a 10-1 win over Avon Grove. Hash allowed just one run in five innings of work for the pitching win, with Colamaro throwing the final inning.
West Side handed Downingtown its first loss, 10-0. "Alex (Doyle) went the first three innings, and gave up only 2 runs before the wheels fell off," said coach Mike Doyle.
Downingtowns run came to an end with a 3-1 loss to Kennett.
Also on the roster for Downingtown were Joe Derbyshire and Ryan Duffy.