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Premer comes through

Pitcher strikes out 16 in relief as Chamberlain Group prevails for NBLL Majors title, 3-2.

June 13, 2010|By Matt Szabo

CORONA DEL MAR — As the strikeouts mounted, Nick Premer knew his pitches were mounting, as well.

Newport Beach Little League Majors Division players are allowed 85 pitches a day.

Premer was masterful with every one.

After coming in to close out the third inning, Premer went the rest of the way, his longest outing of the season for Chamberlain Group.

He struck out the first seven batters he faced. Lucky for the Chamberlain team, he struck out the last one, as well.

On his 85th and final pitch, Premer produced his 16th strikeout, and then prepared for his teammates to mob him.

Chamberlain Group had just outlasted Fleming's, 3-2, in an epic nine-inning Majors Division championship game Saturday at Lincoln Elementary.

"It was great to win another championship," said Premer, who had won his first Majors title two years ago. "It was a lot of fun."

Premer, who struck out 16 of the 20 batters he faced and allowed no hits and one walk, was the one not talking much after the game.

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It didn't matter. His smile gave him away.

"It's the kind of thing that happens once a year in Little League," Chamberlain Group Manager Shawn Miller said. "To have it happen in the championship is what's extraordinary, to do it under pressure."

It capped a huge run from Chamberlain Group (15-8), the American League champion only after losing its first playoff game via mercy rule. But six must-win games later, the team is the NBLL champion.

"We knew that if we lost another one we'd be out," Chamberlain's Jordan Hauser said. "I think it kind of pumped us up to play better."

Premer also scored the winning run in the top of the ninth inning, walking with one out and eventually scoring from third after the ball got past the catcher. Chamberlain Group almost scored another run in the inning on another passed ball, but Fleming's catcher Jack Genova dove back toward home plate to just tag out Hauser.

Fleming's (16-6), the National League champion, had jumped out to a 2-0 lead after three innings. Blake Kormos scored in the second on Sam Kobrine's sacrifice fly and Cameron Kormos singled to lead off the third and eventually scored.

But Chamberlain Group responded, scoring an unearned run in the fourth as Hauser scored and another in the fifth. Ben Gillman walked leading off the inning and scored on a three-base error when David Kaye's bunt was thrown away behind first base.

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