A weary East Cobb Astros team found the resolve to score two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead and defeat the EvoShield Canes 8-6 to stay alive in the championship bracket of the 13u division of the Triple Crown U.S. Club Nationals.
“The beauty of a double-elimination tournament is that if you have a bad game, you can still bounce back and put some games together to make it to the championship,” said Astros head coach Ben Blumenthal. “We were pretty sluggish in that game and did a lot of things that, if we continue to do that, will mean our tournament won’t end well. Hopefully, we can get some rest tonight and it was just playing three games in this heat that made them sluggish.”
The Canes rallied to take a 6-5 lead in the top of the fourth, but in the home half of the inning, the Astros got a big hit off the bat of Treylen White to take the lead. With the score tied, White ripped an offering into the gap in right-center to plate two, giving the Astros an 8-6 lead.
“I just had to get a pitch to hit,” White said. “It didn’t matter if it was low or high, inside or out, I had to get ahead in the count and get my pitch.”
With the clock running out on the two-hour time limit, the Canes tried to mount a rally in the top of the fifth, getting runners on second and third with two men out; however, Trey Sanders would get out of the jam on the mound to send the game into the bottom of the fifth. After the first out was recorded, the game was called as time expired on the Canes chances.
“We knew it was getting late,” White said. “We didn’t want to waste any time. If they had come back, we might have only had one more chance to win the game.”
White knew that playing in a third game Friday, with the potential to play three more Saturday, could be very taxing. “That’s what you run and condition for,” White said. “You have to build up your stamina for weekends like this.”
“The biggest thing we can do [tomorrow] is shorten games,” coach Blumenthal said. “If we can score a bunch of runs and only play three or four innings instead of six or seven, that’s how [teams] get wins. If not, you run out of pitching and you’ve got to start hoping you can out-bang the other team.”
The Astros move on to play at 9 a.m. Saturday morning against the 13u Colorado Slammers – Holzemer. The Canes will play the South Bay Surf for fifth place in the division.
Tags: Baseball, Triple Crown Baseball, Triple Crown Sports, US Club Nationals