SYKESVILLE -- After a tough regular season and days of dismal rain, the underdog Red Sox captured the Westminster Little League's Prep (age 13-14) Division title with an 8-1 romp over the Mariners.
Ryan Pagels pitched a complete game Thursday, allowing only two hits and fanning six.
The Red Sox rapped out 13 hits at Sykesville field, as Scott Moser went 3-for-4 with two RBI and Eric Musgrave added a two-run double.
The Red Sox broke ahead, 8-0, in the early innings, before the Mariners scored their only run in the sixth.
"It's unbelievable," said Sox manager Marty Parlette, noting his team's 1-6 start and 9-3 finish. "It's a real Cinderella story."
The dramatic season turnaround was mirrored in the playoffs, as the Red Sox came out of the tournament's losers' bracket to win the title game.
The Mariners had won the Division's American League bracket with an 11-4 regular-season mark, including two wins over the Red Sox, and victimized the Sox again, 6-5, early in the playoffs.
The Red Sox, year-long underdogs, had finished the regular season at 5-8, winning four of their last six regular-season games.
Thunderstorms washed out Tuesday night's scheduled playoff game, inundating the Prep Division's Obrecht Road diamond and sending Wednesday's makeup game to Sykesville baseball park.
Rain followed the Red Sox and Mariners to Sykesville, threatening Wednesday's contest before finally stopping at game time.
Mariner manager Bob Mercier probably wishes it hadn't, as the Sox came from behind to beat the Mariners, 8-5, parlaying key Mariner errors, walks and wild pitches into eight runs.
Throughout Wednesday's contest, Parlette told his Sox players they had earned the right to be there and "to have fun now."
Mariner pitcher Jason McDermont was effective, yielding only one scratch hit.
But Parlette's team's fun began in the fourth, as it rallied for six runs to go ahead for good, 7-4.
Sox hurler Ed Ruch was equally effective in going the distance, yielding only one hit -- McDermont's booming seventh-inning double to left field to plate the fifth Mariner run.
The decision gave each team one loss in the double-elimination tournament, setting up Thursday night's title showdown.
"I have to take my hat off to them, the way they came out of the losers' bracket," Mercier said.