Attempting to get tournament play complete before the onset of the Adams County Fair, all five teams in the Southern Hills Youth League Class “A” division dived headfirst into postseason tournament play this week. The tourney began Monday and if all goes well, will finish up with championship games on Saturday.
Action began on Monday night in two sites, West Union and Peebles. At West Union, it was West Union 2 getting an extra-inning victory over West Union 1. At Peebles, the circumstances turned out to be a bit more confusing.
Peebles 2 was playing host to the league’s runner-up, the Manchester Greyhounds, a team they had beaten the previous week on Manchester’s home field. Peebles picked up three unearned runs in the top of the first after Manchester starter Cole Roades had retired the first two batters, and the Hounds got one of those back in the bottom of the first when Jordan Carpenter singled, stole second and third, then slid home safely on a passed ball.
Both teams went scoreless in the second but in the top of the third, Peebles took advantage of some Roades wildness as the Greyhound right hander walked home two runs to give Peebles a 5-1 advantage.With their backs to the wall in their tourney opener, the Hounds got aggressive with the bats and on the base paths to storm back in front in the bottom of the third.
Rickey DeAtley drew a walk from Peebles starter Aaron Maddy to begin the stanza and came home when Carpenter reached on an error. Carpenter again swiped second and third and again came home on a passed ball to make it 5-3. Nathan Davis and Nick Hoskins also got free passes and Davis proceeded to steal second and third and with Mason Applegate at the plate, Davis got a good jump on the pitcher and took off for home, sliding in safely with the steal that brought his team within one. Applegate drew another walk, followed by a sacrifice fly to center by Haden Anderson that scored Hoskins to tie the game. When Roades reached later on a dropped third strike, Applegate raced home to give Manchester a 6-5 lead.
Peebles tied the game in the top of the fourth when Ben Figgins doubled to center and scored on an Austin Fuentes single. Then in the bottom of the fourth, Manchester’s Kaige Cox reached on an error and DeAtley came to the plate with very threatening skies beginning to encircle the field.Lightning was spotted close by which necessitated an obligatory 30-minute wait and the dark clouds never went away, forcing the game to be suspended to the next night.
Not a drop of rain came out of those clouds nor any more on Tuesday, so the two teams gathered again in Peebles to resume the contest. DeAtley drew a walk off Fuentes, who was now on in relief for Peebles. After two strikeouts, Hoskins came up with a huge base hit to right, scoring two runs and giving the Hounds an 8-6 advantage.
That lead evaporated quickly in the top of the fifth with DeAtley on in relief for Manchester. The Hounds again gave up unearned runs after Noah Bunn drew a walk and Jacob Griffis laced a double to the left field fence. The throw in from the outfield sailed right through the Manchester dugout and out of play, allowing both runners to score and tying the game.
In the top of the sixth in this see-saw affair, the Greyhounds grabbed the lead back on an RBI single by Kaulen Cox and went to the top of the sixth needing three outs to win and advance.DeAtley got Figgins on a ground out to third, but Fuentes reached safely on an error and moved to second when the throw bounced over the fence beyond first base. With the tying run in scoring position, DeAtley got Jack Behr to pop out to second baseman Carpenter for the second out, then caught Fuentes napping at second and made the pick off throw. A rundown ensued with Carpenter finally applying the tag for the final out in a 9-8 Manchester win that moved the Hounds to the tourney semi-finals.
While that game was being completed in Peebles, the “A” league regular season champions, Peebles 1, was beginning tourney play, getting a 14-6 win over West Union 2. That set up two more games on Wednesday night. In a loser’s bracket contest played in Peebles, West Union eliminated Peebles 2 and in the winner’ bracket game at West Union, it was Manchester moving to the finals with a 16-8 win over Peebles 1.
The tournament continued on Thursday night with West Union 1 and West Union 2 battling for the second time this week, with one team moving on to play Peebles 1 in the loser’s bracket final and the other team ending their season. That loser’s bracket final game will be played on Friday night and the championship round will begin in West Union with Manchester facing whomever battles their way out of the loser’s bracket in a scheduled 10 a.m. first pitch. Look for more “A” ball reports in future issues of The People’s Defender.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.