After booting a few balls around and letting their opponents stay very much in contention, the East Cobb Astros 12u squad wanted, as a point of pride, to truly show the depth of their abilities Saturday in the championship game of the US Club Nationals.
A sharpened focus and some wicked work with the bats made everything right in Atlanta as the Astros cruised to a 16-4 victory over 6-4-3 DP Athletics, earning the 12u crown and winning all six games it took to make the journey. They outscored opponents by a 68-17 margin and finished off the finale with a 10-run burst in the fourth inning.
“With a bunch of 12-year-olds … 6-4-3 played a game earlier today, so they in the mode and ready to play. It was our first game of the day, and we are working out some kinks and have guys in areas they aren’t quite familiar with,” said Astros coach Dalton Martin, who team allowed the Athletics to tie it a 2-all after errors in the first and second innings. “6-4-3 can swing it, but we cleaned up the errors, and all season offensively we’ve been able to hit the baseball. All year, we’ve played in some good tournaments with good competition, and when you win games 10-1 and like this game, we took care of business.
“At this age, it’s all about offense and throwing strikes, letting your defense play. They will make errors, they are 12, but we’ll pick them up with our bats.”
Brady Neal hit for the cycle for the Astros, bombing a two-run homer in the second inning and closing the show with a bases-loaded triple in the fourth. He drove in the game’s first run with a double to bring home Jackson Westmoreland.
“We’ve been hitting good this tournament, crushing the ball off the wall. From one through 12, we get hits, and it’s a team effort,” Neal said. “We’re a really good team, not one to just play around with. We’ll come out and beat you.”
Carson Kerse did nice work in the leadoff spot, notching two hits, two runs and two RBI. Kyle Jones’ two-run double made it 10-4 in the fourth inning, and that was the shot that felt like the crowning blow for the Astros.
Cam Curtis added a run-scoring double in the second; he also scored twice. Westmoreland scored three runs and added an RBI.
“I was just looking to get a hit and get some runs home,” Neal said about his double. “When that happened I was really happy, because I haven’t been doing as good as I can in this tournament … that was really exciting. We can beat any team if we put our minds on it, and don’t ever count us out. We wanted this really bad, and responded to those (early errors), which was good to see.”
For the Athletics, Kent Collier had a double, run and RBI; Evan Warren had a double and scored a run. Collin Strovinskas also hit a double.
Tags: Baseball, Triple Crown Baseball, Triple Crown Sports, US Club Nationals