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Brooklawn, NJ, opens with win in defense of American Legion baseball title

SHELBY Brooklawn’s Tyler Mondile pitched to contact and spread three hits over six innings Thursday in the first game of the American Legion Baseball World Series, and New Jersey’s Nos. 4-6 hitters combined to go 8-for-13 and scored six runs, as the defending national champion cruised to a 9-1 victory over Cromwell, Conn.

The Bulldogs improved to 50-7 on the season and will play Jacksonville, Fla. (38-5) at 5 p.m. Friday in pool play. Cromwell, Conn., fell to 30-10 on the season and will have Friday off at the ALWS. Its next game will be at 1 p.m. Saturday against Jacksonville.

Brooklawn’s Sean Breen, Fran Kinsey, and Mondile hit RBI singles during a four-run third inning, and the Bulldogs took a 5-0 lead and never looked back.

Breen went 3-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice, Anthony Harrold – the returning national player of the year – went 2-for-5 and scored two, and Kinsey went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Tre Todd, the No. 7 hitter, led the team with three RBIs, including a bases-loaded hit by pitch during the third inning.

Mondile used an 89 mph fastball about 80 percent of the time and mixed in a curveball and change-up to keep Connecticut hitters off balance while striking out just two. He walked three.

Omaha, Neb. 6, Columbia, Tenn. 3: Mike Waldron brought in the tie-breaking run with an infield single during a four-run fifth inning that propelled Omaha (57-5) to the opening-round victory. Waldron also was the winning pitcher, allowing 10 hits and two earned runs.

Will Patterson went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two stolen bases for Omaha. Columbia (39-10) had Alex McKlevey, Hayden Holt and Will Norwood with two hits apiece, burt starting pitcher Kaje Usher allowed seven hits and six runs in 4 2/3 innings. Omaha scored twice on wild pitches.

In the final game of the day, Midland, Mich., played Jacksonville, Fla.

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