A couple of 14U Sox teams were in action this weekend, with 14U Prime playing in the 2D Sports 14U Major team series and the 14U Elite competing in USSSA Make a Wish Foundation Classic NIT. Both teams won their way to the Championship Game on Sunday, with Prime winning and Elite the runner up.
Sox Prime won both Pool games, dispatching the Pack 12-3 on Saturday afternoon before hanging on to a tough one against Louisiana Wahoo 7-5 later in the day. They made easy work of the Louisiana All Stars in the semi-finals before taking on the Pack again in the Championship. The Pack struck with 3 runs in the 3rd to take a lead over Prime, and again in the 5th to take a 4-4 lead. The bottom of the 5th proved to be the difference. Taking advantage of a lead off walk to Carter Davis and single by Duncan Mathews to put the go-ahead runner on base, Jackson Evers pushed Prime into the lead with a 2 out double on a 3-2 count, scoring Davis and Kaleb Lipscomb who was a courtesy runner for Mathews. Cole Manuel added an insurance run with another hit, scoring Evers and giving Prime a 6-4 lead. They added another 3 runs in bottom of the 6th to take a commanding lead, winning the Championship 9-4.
Notes: Five Sox players batted .500 or better in the tournament, with Doby Bartling leading the way at .667 and .800 OBP; Cole Manuel 7-11 (.636); Owen Ishee 5-8 (.625); Kaleb Lipscomb 6-10 (.600); Jackson Evers 6-12 (.500). Team combined for 10 doubles and a triple from Trey Adams. Cole Manuel pitched 4.2 innings, striking our 7 batters; Drew Lamb pitched 4 innings, with 5 strikeouts and 0 earned runs; Team ERA for the weekend was 1.27.
Sox Elite took the field for the first time this Spring, taking it to Championship Game on Sunday afternoon. The weekend kicked off with a tie game against the Capital City Cubs 5-5, before losing a battle with Evolve Baseball 5-2. They opened bracket play with an 8-0 shut out with the Louisiana Arsenal which saw Matthew Birdsong and Caleb Thompson combine for a no-hitter. They tossed 9 strikeouts without issuing a walk. 2 errors in the game allowed the only baserunners for the Sox defense. Facing the Louisiana Tigers in the semi-final game, the Sox struck with an 11 run attack, with 8 runs in the 3rd inning to put the game away with an 11-5 win to get to the final game. The Championship Game was a true match of the best teams in the tournament, with the first 5 innings scoreless and neither defense committing an error. Sox Elite had an opportunity to score in the top of the 3rd when they loaded the bases with a hit from Garrett Smith and consecutive walks issued by the Cage pitcher with one out before inducing a couple of pop ups to get out of the jam. The game ended in the bottom of the 6th, with Cage scoring a run on two hits before hitting a 2-run homer to end the game with a final score of 3-0.
Notes: Graham Busbea was 3-7 (.429); Dayne Sanford hit 5-13 (.385) with 2 doubles; JC Garrard hit 3-8 (.375) with a double. Matthew Birdsong pitched 7.0 innings, with 8 strikeouts and 1 walk, 2 hits and 0 earned runs; Graham Busbea pitched 6.0 innings, with 8 strikeouts, 2 hits and 0 earned runs. Caleb Thompson pitched 4.0 innings, with 5 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 hit and 0 earned runs.