Big comeback gives Sox Mustang title

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 13, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Though they’d charged to a perfect Suffolk Youth Athletic Association (SYAA) season-ending tournament earlier in the week, the Red Sox (perhaps imitating their major league namesakes) got off to a tough start in the finals of the Mustang league championship Thursday. Jake Grady, Seth Fisher, Ian McCarter, Thomas Crisman and Taylor Edens scored to give the Braves a 5-0 lead before Thursday evening’s rain stopped the game in the middle of the fourth inning. As the &uot;Bostonians&uot; took the Diamond Springs Park field Friday, they knew they had to work fast – though the tournament was double-elimination, a big victory would have given the Braves serious momentum going into a second title game.

Zach Lilley was the first to make sure that didn’t happen. He singled to left-centerfield, stole his way to third, and scored on an error. Noah Johnson and Adam Brinkley reached base, and Brandon Burgos took a pitch in the side to load the bases. Derric Lester forced in a run with a walk, and Daniel Gromkoski took a pitch in the arm to get Brinkley in. Burgos stole home, and the Sox had charged back to within one in the span of two outs.

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Lilley struck out two in the top of the fifth, and Robie Stevens walked for the Sox. Lilley blasted a double to deep center to score him, and scored himself on a two-bagger by Brinkley.

Chad Hamilton whacked a double off the centerfield fence to start the sixth. He stole third, but the next two batters got out. Lilley worked the count to 1-2, then got the fourth batter to dribble a grounder to first, and the Sox had come all the way back for a 6-5 win.

&uot;I knew we needed another run,&uot; said Lilley, a student at Elephant’s Fork Elementary School. &uot;We needed all we could get, because they could have gotten back easily. I didn’t feel good after (Hamilton’s) double, but I had to follow through.&uot;

The SYAA Reds fell short in their comeback in the semifinals of the Pony league tournament, scoring five runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before Cypress escaped with an 11-7 victory.

On Thursday, Josh Winslow, Nick Forehand, Parker Matthews and Charles Carr scored for Cypress and Zack Bowen came in for SYAA to give Cypress a 4-1 lead before rain halted things in the third. Forehand re-started the fourth with a walk, and Carlos Jones eked out an infield single. R.J. Jenkins bashed a single to right to score both, and then came in on a passed ball to go up, 7-1. Keith Anderton scored in the fifth and Carr in the sixth, and SYAA got in two runs to get to 9-3.

With one out in the seventh, Forehand singled to left, and Jones followed suit to score him. Jones scored on an infield single by Winslow, grabbing a nine-run lead.

The first SYAA batters made outs in the seventh, but Curtis Poole singled to center, and Mike Nelson nailed a homer to left. Joey Aranda was hit by a pitch, stole his way to third, and scored on an infield single by Bowen.

Bowen made it to third, but Eric Spense appeared to have struck out. However, the ball got away from the catcher, and Spense hurried to third. The throw went errant, and Bowen cut the lead to four. But the next batter struck out, and Cypress had gotten through. At 9 a.m. today, they’ll battle Holland. Should Cypress win, the teams will play again immediately afterward.

&uot;This is a good build up for the title,&uot; said Winslow, whose team has fallen to Holland three times this season, including once in the tournament. &uot;We need to hit good and get people out.&uot;

While the younger SYAA league seasons were drawing to a close, the oldest squad got started Friday as the Colts roared to an 11-2 defeat of visiting Smithfield. After allowing two runs in the first inning, Daniel Cross held them to three hits and struck out 11 the rest of the way.

Shea Alstead, Cross and Andy Owens walked to start the bottom of the first, and Matt Cotton hit a single to left to score two runs. Justin Schleeper walked to re-load the bases, and Ryan Myrick singled to center to go up, 4-2. Myrick and Schleeper scored when Steve Wyatt reached on an error, and the score was 6-2.

Cross singled Jason West home in the second, and scored on a fielder’s choice by Cotton. Alstead reached on an error with one out in the fourth, and Cross singled him to third. Cross stole second, and Owens slammed a double to deep center to drive home both runners. Owens drove home Cross in the seventh for the game’s final run.