BANGOR--- You need production from everyone if you are going to reach a world championship game.
KAU Little League from Kennett Square, PA, got big time production from Chris Tucker Friday afternoon at Mansfield stadium.
Tucker hit the ball hard to centerfield each of his first three plate appearances.
Nicholas Au made two diving catches and one running catch to keep Tucker hit-less.
Tucker came up in the seventh inning, and hit the ball even harder. This time, it went over Au's head to send all three base runners home.
It was the first time that Tucker has hit in a game in quite some time.
Tucker has played left field, but has not batted in a game since the state tourney approximately three weeks ago.
"Chris hasn't hit in our batting order since early in our state tournament. Chris has struggled with the bat,"KAU manager Todd Duerr said. "In between states and now, everyday Chris is at the batting tee, at the batting cage, asking me for tips on what he can do."
Kennett Square got things started quickly, when they put four on the scoreboard in the first inning. Jake Freeman and Dan Garver each had a run scoring single.
The inning ended when Tucker hit a line shot to center, Au made the diving catch, leaving two runners on base.
Brandon Henderson kept Pearl City in the game. Henderson did not allow a run between the second and sixth inning.
Pearl City manager Alex Takemura said, "Brandon Henderson did an unbelievable job. He continued to make pitch after pitch, did everything I asked."
Andrew. Jones pitched well for Kennett Square. He allowed three earned runs in 6.2 innings. Jones produced 10 ground ball outs.
Pearl City cut the lead to 4-3, with two runs in the fourth inning, and one more in the fifth inning.
The fourth inning runs came around when Jones threw a wild pitch while trying to walk Henderson intentionally.
"It is always nice to get out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. It calms down the nerves a little,"Jones said. "It doesn't bother me to go to a one run game. I have confidence in my defense."
Duerr added, "He (Jones) is our big game guy. I know he wasn't going to give anything up, that is Andrew."
KAU broke the game open when they took advantage of a Pearl City error to score five runs during the top of the seventh inning.
Tucker had the big hit during the inning. He ripped a 2-2 pitch over Au's head, that sent three runners around the bases. This was after keeping the at bat alive with three foul balls.
"The umpire actually told me to stop fouling them off because he was running out of balls,"Tucker said. "I knew the curve-ball was coming because he kept throwing me fastballs so I just stayed in there."
Duerr added, "When he came up with a 2-2 count, fouled three balls off and than banged that triple, that is what hard work does."
Kennett Square was playing without their regular starting catcher. Eric Duerr was injured in a play during a 5-3 loss to Panama Wednesday night.
"Eric is fine, he has very bad whiplash and he has a concussion. He is done for a long time. It is unfortunate," Todd Duerr said. "I will have to say it is questionable what happened out there, I will leave it at that."
Kennett Square will have another chance against Panama in the biggest game of them all.
The teams will face other Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Senior League world championship game. The game can be seen live on ESPN U.
Panama defeated Georgia 5-4 in 12 innings Saturday afternoon, in a game that was filled with excitement and controversy. Click here to read the Bangor Daily News article from this game.