11-3 win sends Devils to finals –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
It was an all-Adams County match up on June 30 in the semi-final round of the Southern Hills Youth League 12U baseball tournament, played this season in Ripley. An undefeated North Adams squad faced off with Manchester with a berth in the tournament championship contest.
The Greyhounds jumped to an early lead, but couldn’t hold on to it as North Adams rolled to win number 13, coming out on top in the scorebook 11-3.
Manchester couldn’t have asked for a better start to this semi-final outing, picking up three first-inning runs off of North Adams starter Nathan Parks. Back to back walks to Malachi Bayless and Braylen Roberts began the game and both of those runners came home on a double to right field by Aaron Lucas. Lucas later raced home on a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Braden Brown that gave the Hounds the early 3-0 advantage.
That advantage vanished very quickly when the Devils came to bat in the bottom of the first, with Lucas toeing the rubber for Manchester. Easton Daulton led off with a base hot to center and scored when Lucas Roush’s fly ball to left was misplayed. One out later, Dominic Webb laced a single to right that scored Roush and when the ball got past the Greyhound center fielder, Webb came all the way around to score to tie the game at 3.
Parks drew a walk, as did Colby Eldridge and they both came in to scored when Kelby Moore reached on an error. Lucas struck out the next two hitters to escape further damage, but the Devils had grabbed the lead for good at 5-3.
With Parks going the first three innings for the Devils and the side winding, hard throwing Webb firing the final three, the Hounds did not dent the plate again, though they loaded the bases with one out in the top of the second, but Parks worked out of trouble by striking out Roberts and getting Lucas to ground out to second.
North Adams added one run to their lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI base hit by Roush. Manchester put two runners on base in the top of the third on a single by Drew Kennedy and a base on balls to Logan Neria, but both runners were left stranded.
The Devils added to their lead in the bottom of the third, touching up Lucas for two more. A base hit to center by Landon Swayne began the scoring frame, and he came home when another fly ball, this one from the swing of Parks, was dropped. An infield hit by Eldridge ended with a Manchester throwing error that allowed Parks to score and put North Adams up 8-3.
Webb came on to pitch for the Devils in the fourth and was firing bullets, though sometimes he struggled with control, walking two in his first inning, but fanning Kennedy to end the threat. Kennedy then came on in relief for Manchester and hit the first two batters he faced, but wiggled out of trouble when a line drive to first resulted in an inning-ending double play.
The final three North Adams tallies came off of Kennedy in the bottom of the fifth. A triple to right center by Swayne drove home one, Swayne scored on an error, and a bases loaded walk to Conner Rhoden forced home the eleventh and final run.
The Hounds went down in order in the top of the sixth against Webb, giving the Devils a ticket to the tournament’s championship round, and improving their overall record to 13-0.
(North Adams battled Peebles in the 12U tournament finals on Sunday, July 2. Look for a full report on that game in the July 9 weekend edition of The People’s Defender.)