Naamans Senior League 2019 champs

Defending United States champion Naamans split their two opening games at the 2019 Senior League World Series.

Naamans burst out of the gate on Saturday, defeating the host district from Easley, South Carolina 9-8, before falling 4-2 to Southwest champion Houston, Texas.

In Saturday's opener, Naamans jumped ahead after three innings, before having to hold off Easley's furious rally.

Danny Rzucidlo hit a 2-run double in the 2nd inning, and then his RBI sinle was surrounded by Kenyon Motley's run-scoring single and Conor Campbell's 2-run double to give them a huge advantage.

Johnny Pfander added a 6th inning RBI single, which was just enough to hold off South Carolina.

Danny Storm and Luke Gabrysh combined to give up no earned runs in 7 innings in the victory, with Storm taking the win, and Gabrysh the save.

Sunday, they faced a Texas team that received an opening-round bye, and this time it was Naamans playing catch-up.

Texas took a 4-0 lead after the third inning, but that would be all they would get, with Max Coughenhour and Johnny Pfander shutting the door over the final 3.2 innings.

Motley pushed a run back in the 4th with an RBI double, but they stranded two runners on base.

Aidan Lambert's 3rd hit of the day drive in a run with the 7th, and they got the go-ahead run to the plate, but could not get another big hit, and dropped the 4-2 decision.

Naamans is off to the loser's bracket, where they will face the Southeast champions from Onancock, Virginia in a battle of Delmarva (although Naamans is north of the canal) at 4 p.m. Monday.

The winner would have to win 4 straight games in order to win the United States championship.

All games of the Senior League World Series before the World Championship are being shown on ESPN+, ESPN's pay service.

WDEL/Delaware SportsZone Sports Director. National Sports Media Association's Delaware Sportscaster of the Year (2013).