Senior League: Snead’s 3-run homer sparks Lower Sussex offense in 4-3 win

SEAFORD – Down 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning, Jalen Snead walked up to the plate just looking to put the ball in play and move up a couple base-runners.

Instead, with one swing of the bat, he sent a fastball over the left field fence for a game-tying three-run home run for Lower Sussex in Game 2 of the Senior League District 3 All-Star tournament at Nanticoke Little League Thursday, June 28.

“I knew my team was down. You don’t expect home runs like that – I wasn’t expecting a home run like that – I was just trying to help my team out,” Snead said of his approach at the plate. “Being the cleanup hitter, you have a job to do. When there are people on base, bring them home, so I just took what the pitcher gave me. I’ve been working hard and training, and it carried over from practice to the game today.”

Jalen Snead drove in three runs with one swing of the bat, tying the game 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

A sacrifice fly off the bat of Hunter Williams, which brought Jordan Harper in to score, in the top of the seventh was enough for Lower Sussex to defeat Nanticoke-Laurel, 4-3.

Lower Sussex pitchers Kyle Coffey, Caleb Smith, Kris Medford and Chase Hall combined for the tournament-opening victory.

Nanticoke/Laurel wasted no time putting its first run on the board, getting the scoring started in the top of the first inning.

Dylan Niblett, who started the game on the mound for Nanticoke/Laurel led the game off with a double and would come around to score on a Conor Ellingsworth sacrifice fly to centerfield two at-bats later.

A Vance Joseph two-run homer in the top of the second inning extended N/L’s lead to 3-0, but with Smith taking over in relief to begin the third inning the Lower Sussex bullpen would pitch five shutout innings to complete the comeback.

When asked to describe his pitching staff this year, Lower Sussex manager Tom Cassat used one word: deep. With a lot of pitching depth on the roster, Cassat is excited to see how far this squad can make it this summer.

“For 90% of this team, it’s their last year of Little League, so their expectations are to play together as a team, work really, really hard and to take it as far as their talents and teamwork will let them go. That’s their expectations,” he said, simply.

Kyle Coffey, Caleb Smith, Kris Medford and Chase Hall combined to allow just three runs in the tournament-opener for Lower Sussex (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

“I play with these boys a lot. We know how each other plays, we know how to pick each other up when we are down, we’ve been playing together for so long that we just have a great bond. This is our last year, it’s our last ride so we’re going to go hard every game,” said Snead.

Senior League tournament

The five-team District 3 tournament got underway Wednesday, June 27 with Georgetown/Cape defeating Millsboro, 20-0.

Lower Sussex’s 4-3 win Thursday night was followed by a 14-2 Georgetown/Cape win over Woodbridge.

Nanticoke/Laurel and Millsboro play an elimination game Friday, June 29.

Next up for Lower Sussex is a Saturday, June 30 showdown with Georgetown/Cape at Nanticoke Little League. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. Winner of the N/L and Millsboro game Friday night will play Woodbridge Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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