Colby Johnson hit game-tying and game-winning singles and the Warren Americans walked off as winners in extra innings, defeating Cameron County, 4-3, in the Little League Boys Majors baseball tournament on Thursday at Betts-Jackson Field.
After a bye in the first round, the Warren Americans are already in the winners bracket final on Monday. They will play at 6 p.m. Monday against the Bradford Americans, which defeated the Warren Nationals team, 17-0, on Thursday.
Cameron County jumped out to an early lead in the first with two runs, capitalizing on two Warren errors. But Warren didn't wait long to tie it up. Nate Betts led off the bottom of the first with a single and Johnson followed by reaching on an error. Betts came around to score on a wild pitch, and Johnson followed on a sacrifice fly from Drake Gens.
Times Observer photo by Jonathan McAfoos
Warren Americans starting pitcher Colby Johnson zeroes in on a Cameron County opponent while delivering a pitch during a Little League Boys Majors all-star game, Thursday at Betts-Jackson Field. Johnson struck out five in four innings, and also made noise with his bat, knocking in the game-tying and game-winning runs.
Betts' leadoff knock was the only hit Warren could muster until the fifth inning. Trailing 3-2, and with two outs in the inning, Betts started another rally by drilling a ball into the right-center gap and racing to third for a triple. Johnson hit a single over the second baseman's head to tie the game.
The Betts/Johnson tandem struck again in extra innings.
Betts reached on an error in the seventh, and raced to second on a hustle play. Johnson once again came through in the clutch, knocking in Betts and setting the Warren Americans into a frantic celebration.
Johnson and Betts also did the pitching for the Warren Americans. Johnson started and went four innings, allowing three runs and striking out six. Betts took over and earned the win, striking out eight.
Betts finished with three hits, Johnson two and Gens added the other Warren hit.
Cameron County 200 010 0 3 5
Warren 200 010 1 4 6
2b-Tristan Reed (C). 3b-Nathan Betts (W). WP-Betts. LP-Carston Strahl.
Bradford Americans 17, Warren Nationals 0
The Warren Boys Majors Nationals all-star team was sent to the losers bracket after a 17-0 loss to the Bradford Americans Thursday at the Farm Colony Complex.
Bradford plated five runs in the opening and inning and never let up while advancing to Monday's D-10 North winners bracket final against the Warren Americans. Despite the loss, the Warren Nats remain alive in postseason play and will face the Bradford Nationals at either 2 or 4 p.m. Saturday in Bradford.
Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the second, Warren put together its best chance to score in the game. Adam Irwin singled, providing what would prove to be the team's only hit of the game. Moments later, Chris White drew a walk and Tyler Mahood was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Unfortunately for the Nationals, Bradford pitcher John Eakin responded with a strikeout to end the inning and keep the score 5-0. Bradford would go on to score 12 runs over the next two innings, ending the game early via the mercy rule.
Bradford Americans 505 7 - 17 11
Warren Nationals 000 0 - 0 1
WP-John Eakin. LP-Adam Irwin.