Looking back, it doesn’t seem like the Five Star Tigers-DeMarini 10u team could have been too worried in what became a 15-run victory Thursday at US Club Nationals.
But when pitcher JJ Jennings plunked the first batter he faced and the Tidewater Drillers scored two early runs, the result seemed up in the air. But the Tigers stormed back with 10 runs in their half of the first inning and rumbled to a 19-4 victory to move to 3-0 in pool play. That gives them one of the top two seeds into the Championship Bracket and a first-round bye.
Dayson Griffis had a triple and a long, loud home run to left field to drive in four runs; Caden Worbington had two hits and four RBI, and Dalton Redmond brought in three more with two doubles. Jennings worked out of trouble with a bases-loaded moment in the second inning and gave up just one harmless run in the third.
“After I gave up those runs, I tried to hit the ball and score those runs back,” said Jennings, who scored three times and had two hits and two stolen bases. “Then I tried to dominate (on the mound) and not let any more runs come in. I didn’t want our hitting to have to do a lot of work."
Griffis turned a nice unassisted double play in the first to minimize the damage, and Jennings struck out the last batter of the first to do his share.
“It’s really awesome, our defense. You don’t have to try and get extra outs, and you don’t waste your arm throwing more pitches and pitches,” Jennings added.
“(Jennings) and all our pitchers have lot of confidence in our defense,” said coach Wes Worbington. “The pitchers and defense … no one gets their head down. We know we’re going to give up some runs, but we have a lot of confidence with our bats. There are times when the bats aren’t there, and the defense picks up the slack.
“Today it just seemed like all of it was combined together. We want to keep doing the small things right and not be making mental errors. If we don’t make the mental errors, we feel like we’ll always be in the ball game.”
Griffis’ home run was a no-doubter right off the bat and brought in three of the six runs the Tigers scored in the third to end the game via run rule.
“They were telling me to have one good hack, and I gave it all I had,” he said. “We play as a team. JJ pitched great, and he was the one who mostly led us to the ‘W.’”
For Tidewater, Colin Lebel and Wes Stubbe each had a double and an RBI; Conner Worth singled, stole a base, scored and drove in a run. Hayden Nobles also singled and drove in a run.
Tags: Baseball, Triple Crown Baseball, US Club Nationals