For a team traveling from Oregon, the US Club Nationals in Atlanta can be a lot to digest.
But the 10u Mound Time squad is hoping to feast on the opportunity that comes with facing some of the nation’s top programs, and they took a step in that direction Thursday with an 8-2 victory over the EvoShield Canes to earn one of the last seeds in the Championship Bracket.
Mound Time will play later Thursday in the first round of the upper bracket.
A five-run burst in the third inning provided the winning touch in terms of offense, but much of the credit rested with the four pitchers who worked out of some occasional jams and simply kept the Canes at arm’s length.
“We’ve bene blessed this season with a unique core of kids who can hit and throw,” said Mount Time coach Will Giron, whose team dropped two close games in Wednesday’s pool play. “We don’t feel out of our league, and we’re here to show Oregon can play real baseball. The time change is a huge factor; asking the boys to perform with all of that is a massive requirement.
“They competed, and today after we got some sleep, we saw the team we’ve seen the entire season. We have the depth and the hitters to make a run and show somebody that we are in it.”
Connor Udland pitched two scoreless innings, and Isaac Pfiefer minimized the problems of a two-on, no-out situation in the sixth by allowing just one run.
“I just try to not think about it too much, try my best and throw strikes,” Udland said. “It was a fun feeling and awesome to see the offense go. It’s fun to show the other teams that we are really good in the Oregon area.”
Five of the first six batters for Mound Time in the third inning had singles, and Pfiefer smoked a shot off the outfield wall to bring in two more runners. A perfect bunt from Aidan Rice brought in another score, and Mount Time tacked one more on in the sixth with Pfiefer doubling and then scoring on a single by Ryan Davis.
“I had to drive in runs,” Pfeifer said. “To either get us insurance runs, or get ahead more so they couldn’t make a comeback. We’ve been throwing strikes and getting people out; we’re good enough to be here with our pitchers. It feels great to get some wins and get another opportunity.”
For the Canes, Johnny Lupienski had two doubles and an RBI; WJ Allen reached base twice and scored, Henry Hoffman had two hits (including a double) and MJ Wright also doubled.
Tags: Baseball, Triple Crown Sports, US Club Nationals