Here comes the South!
The Warren Americans Boys Majors all-star team came back from an early two-run deficit to beat the Bradford Americans, 9-2, on Saturday at Betts-Jackson Field for the District 10 North Division title.
After falling behind, Warren pitchers Colby Johnson and Jake Harvey stopped Bradford's offense for the rest of the game, holding their opponents hitless in the final five innings.
Times Observer photo by Mitchell Wilston
Nate Betts scoops up a ground ball with his eye on the baserunner as he gets ready to turn a double play during Warren’s 9-2 win over Bradford on Saturday at Betts-Jackson for the District 10 North Boys Majors Championship. Adam Barker, at right, moves in to cover second.
Warren would get on the board in the second inning when Braidy Blair scored off of a wild pitch during Aidan Morrison's 13-pitch at bat. Harvey had moved Blair to third on the first of three Warren extra-base hits in the inning. Nate Betts would drive in the tying and go-ahead runs with a double, and was driven in himself by a two-run triple by Drake Gens to make the score 5-2 Warren.
Warren's stingy at bats made a huge impact on the game when Bradford's pitcher had to be pulled after throwing 63 pitches in just the second inning alone.
"When you knock out their pitcher early like that, that's huge," said Warren Americans coach Don Cummings, whose 11-and-12-year-olds finished 3-0 in the North by a combined score of 19-9.
Warren opened with a bye in the seven-team tournament, defeated Cameron County, 4-3, beat the Bradford Americans, 8-4, in the winners bracket final, then Bradford again in the finals.
Warren kept scoring - three runs in the third and a final run in the fourth - to make the score 9-2. Betts had his second hit of the game in the third, and Gens added a second hit and scored in the fourth.
"That's a very good team and they didn't expect us to beat them," said Cummings.
After beating them twice in a week, Warren is now the team with a bullseye on it's back.
"Everyone played well when they needed to - it was a team effort," said Cummings.
Betts sparked on defense as well, making a nice play up the middle to start a double play in the fifth. Johnson and Harvey threw three innings each; Harvey truck out five in the final three.
The Americans will continue all-star play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Betts-Jackson Field for the District 10 Boys Majors Little League championship against South champ Punxsutawney. Punxsy must defeat unbeaten Warren twice in the finals.
Bradford 200 000 - 2 2
Warren Americans 053 10x - 9 5
2b-Nate Betts (W), Jake Harvey (W). 3b-Drake Gens (W). WP-Colby Johnson. LP- Eakin.
DuBois 4, Warren 3
DuBOIS - Warren's Girls Minors all-star team battled to the last at bat, before being eliminated by unbeaten District 10 champion DuBois on Saturday.
Warren had to overcome a lightning delay and then a two-run deficit before falling one-run short with the tying run left at third base in the final of the Girls Minors 9-and-10-year-old tournament.
Despite leaving several runners on base, Warren led 2-0 until the bottom of the fourth. In the top of the second inning, Seneca Bennett singled, and scored on a walk by Celia Chase. Chase kept running to second after the base on balls, and Bennett scurried home when DuBois made a play on Chase at second. Eventually, Chase would score on Trinity Wennberg's RBI single - the second hit of the inning, and half the hits Warren would have in the game. Warren left the bases loaded in the top of the third, but Julia Lobdell and Wennberg had combined to hold DuBois scoreless through three innings.
Lobdell came back in to put out a fire in the fourth, but Saige Weible had the hit of the game, and possibly the tournament, with a three-run triple to give DuBois a 3-2 lead.
After a lightning delay, Kaylee Sadowski added a huge insurance run for DuBois with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
Grace Wortman and Chase reached on walks in the sixth, and a run scored on Wennberg's fielder's choice, but Warren would only pull to within one run.
Warren's Girls Minors outscored finished second in the tournament, after battling back in the losers bracket to finish 4-2 overall. Warren outscored opponents 62-14 over six game, suffering two one-run losses - 7-6 to St. Marys and 4-3 to champion DuBois.
"We, as coaches, really pushed these girls," said Warren Girls Minors manager Scott Chase. "I gave them one day off in almost four weeks. For being 9-and-10-year-olds, their dedication to their teammates is really unbelievable. A parent made the comment that with this team the girls have been doing more than just playing ball. They all became great friends in the process.
"The improvement we have seen in their batting, fielding, throwing and baserunning is tremendous," he said. "They all gave 110 percent and I couldn't ask for a better group of athletes. I had numerous coaches and parents from other teams compliment them on their abilities and sportsmanship. I am extremely proud of their efforts."
On Saturday, catcher Gracie Wood had two of Warren's four hits. Alexis Nyquist made three great plays at shortstop, including ranging far for a ball up the middle. Lobdell finished with seven strikeouts over 3 2/3rd innings, and Wennberg two K's in 1 1/3rd innings.
Warren 020 001 - 3 4
DuBois 000 31x - 4 2
3b-Saige Weible (D). WP-Kaylee Sadowski. LP-Trinity Wennberg.