Bennetts Creek teams will square off in semifinal

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 4, 2002

The Bennetts Creek Nat-ional (BCN) 9-10 All-Stars braved heat that reached into the hundreds to defeat Olive Branch 5-1 at Driver Elementary School on Thursday afternoon. The win, coupled with the Bennetts Creek American team’s loss to Churchland, ensures that a local team win represent the loser’s bracket in the final game. The two BC teams will battle it out in the bracket semifinal today at Driver Elementary at 6 p.m.

BCN got on the board in their first at bat, as an infield single from Traquel Burch brought Ben Joslin home.

The Portsmouth team got its first real chance to score in the second. With two outs, Tyler Sells singled to left field. Cameron Huntress came in to pinch-run, and stole second. Clayton Osbourne walked, and a double steal moved both runners into scoring position. But BCN hurler Melvin Turner struck out Matthew Shelton, and the inning was over.

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The BCN offense drove up the score in the third. Jay Riddick singled, and a double by Tyler Horton drove him home. Burch reached on an error, and Turner cleared the bases with a triple to centerfield.

Kyle Jones put Olive Branch on the board in the bottom of the inning, but Riddick came right back with another run to make it a 5-1 game.

After BCN went down swinging in their half of the sixth, Chris Kleiber came to bat for Olive Branch. With the count at 2-1, he lifted a pop fly halfway between first and second base. First baseman Horton and second baseman Joplin charged forward, but Horton stepped in front of his teammate to glove the first out.

Sells hit a high popup toward third base. Burch backed up to get it, the sun hitting him full in the face. As he crossed into foul territory, the ball landed in his glove for out number two.

Chris Gerth stepped to the plate, and hammered a hard grounder toward Joplin. On a bounce, the BCN player grabbed it, flipped it to Horton, and the game was over.

&uot;I was getting weak from the heat,&uot; said Turner, who struck out seven. &uot;But I already knew we’d won, with the score the way it was.&uot;

In the 11-12 league, the Bennetts Creek National team held off Olive Branch 6-3. Jermaine Berry scored two runs for the older BCN team, and Chase Cali pitched the last five innings, striking out two in the sixth to clinch the victory.

&uot;I knew we were going to win, because we’re that good,&uot; said Cali. &uot;The heat got to me a little bit, but I just kept drinking Gatorade and other sports drinks in the dugout.&uot; BCN will play Churchland, who defeated them 5-4 in the opening round, today at Driver at 6 p.m.