JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — It's going to be doubly difficult now for anybody to deprive Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks of the Babe Ruth World Series championship.
Seven doubles powered Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks past Mount Airy, Md., 13-0, Thursday at Jamestown Community College in the winners'-bracket final of the double-elimination tournament. for 13- to 15-year-olds.
Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks has qualified for the finals Saturday against the losers'-bracket survivor, who will have to defeat Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks twice for the championship. The local team only needs one win for the title.
On an overcast, drizzly evening, Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks (13-0) came at Mount Airy with both barrels, combining a 17-hit attack with the three-hit pitching of Jason Edwards and German Miranda.
Consecutive doubles by Lance Migita, Edwards, Brian Smith and Chris Lohman opened a five-run third inning that gave Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks a 6-0 lead. The team had taken a one-run lead when Robby Davis singled home Darin Tsukashima in the first inning.
Center fielder Jay Sanford helped Edwards in the first two innings by catching four fly balls, including one against the center-field fence. Edwards (8-0) settled down to allow two hits in six innings of work. He struck out eight, did not walk a batter and also doubled twice.
Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks added four runs in the sixth and three in the seventh. Justin LaLoggia singled home a run in the sixth and drove in two more with a double in the seventh. Brian Smith also hit a double.
"Their pitcher threw very hard but after the first time around he couldn't get the ball by our kids," Coach Dave Kramer said.
Berlin, Conn., meets Mount Airy tonight to determine who will face Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks in the final Saturday at 1:30. Should Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks lose, a second game will follow immediately.