Bolstered by back-to-back superb pitching performances by Ryan McMahon and Dylan Clough, the Rays swept the Red Sox to capture the 2020 Everett Little League Major Division championship.
McMahon, a 12-year-old righthander, pitched a no-hitter, struck out 16 batters and also clouted a two-run home run to lead the Rays to a 4-0 victory over the Sox in the Game 2-clincher of the best-of-three series Saturday night at Sacramone Park.
Clough, also a 12-year-old righthander, struck out 15 batters while tossing a two-hitter in Game 1 to contain the Red Sox, who finished in first place during the regular season and were the league’s highest scoring team.
McMahon brought his ‘A’ game to the mound for the final start of his Little League career. He stayed ahead in the count, displayed a strong fastball, and painted the corners.
“It was the best pitching performance I’ve ever seen – easily, especially against a great team like the Red
Sox,” said Rays Coach Mike Belloise. “Ryan didn’t have a three-ball count on a single batter. He was extraordinary tonight. They call him ‘Silly’ because he likes to joke around, but tonight he was in a zone. You could see it in his eyes.”
Rays Manager Dave Clough also lauded McMahon.
“I’m so proud of him. I’ve seen from Day 1 how he just loves the game of baseball,” said Clough. “You couldn’t have asked for a better performance from Ryan.”
The Rays displayed timely hitting in Game 2. First baseman Collin Belloise had a double in the fifth inning. Dylan Clough, the team’s leading hitter, had two hits. His brother, 10-year-old Chase Clough, also had a basehit. Junior had a single. McMahon’s towering home run in the third inning was the key blow of the game.
McMahon said he will always have great memories of playing baseball in the Everett Little League.
“It’s really exciting to win the championship,” said McMahon. “I’m happy for my team. They all played well and were all confident. Everybody was swinging the bat and everybody was fielding right.”
When McMahon was asked in the post-game interview, “Who is your favorite pitcher?” he quickly replied, “Probably Dylan.”
Dylan Clough was behind the plate for the no-hitter in Game 2. McMahon was the catcher for Clough’s two-hitter in the series opener.
“It was really fun to catch the no-hitter because Ryan and I have been teammates for three years,” said Dylan. “Ryan also pitched a no-hitter when he was 10 years old. He was throwing strikes tonight. It’s really fun to win the championship in my last year.”
The Rays finished third during the regular season but won four straight playoffs games to capture the title in a season that was delayed due to the coronavirus.