by Jason Hanes
Looking to start the tournament with a win, 6-4-3 DP Tigers 13u used a strong second inning to pull out a 7-3 win over Dallas Tigers East 13u to win the first game of pool play for both teams at the Triple Crown U.S. Club Nationals Wednesday afternoon.
"We really went for that one because we knew that was a good team coming in," said 6-4-3 head coach Brett Dearing. "We knew it was going to be tough, so we put our best out there and got the win early."
Both teams took advantage of an error on a pickoff move to first to get a run on the board in the opening frame. 6-4-3 would take control of the contest in the top of the second. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases with no one out in the inning. After a Dallas Tigers pitching change, Jacob Tolson came through with an RBI single to plate the go-ahead run. The big blow of the inning would come one batter later, however, as Caelen Towe ripped a two-run single into the gap in right-center to make it 4-1.
"My coach told me to keep my weight back and drive the ball to the opposite field," Towe said. "I did that, hit it into the gap, and scored two runs."
The scoring would continue as Cole Eison lifted a sacrifice fly to left to plate the fourth run of the inning and give 6-4-3 a 5-1 lead.
After a lengthy first two innings, both teams would go quickly in the third. In the fourth, 6-4-3 tacked on a pair of insurance runs. Two walks and a bunt single loaded the bases for Kyle Chatham, who walked to force home the first run. Eison then stepped into the batter's box and delivered a run-scoring single to make it 7-1.
In the bottom of the inning, the Dallas Tigers wouldn't go away quietly as a pair of walks and a double steal let Blaise Pettry score to make it 7-2. With two men out, Colby Porter singled back up the middle to score Eric Bacon to make it 7-3. That would be as close as the Dallas Tigers would get, however, as 6-4-3 used a strikeout to win the contest.
"Now there's not as much pressure," Towe said. "We don't have to come out and grind as hard since we have that first win."
"This win changes the way we play from here on out," said Coach Dearing. "Now I can take my chances, use some different pitchers, give some different guys some opportunities, and try to save some stuff for bracket play."
6-4-3 DP improves to 1-0 in Pool D, while Dallas Tigers East slips to 0-1 in pool C.