BC’s comeback isn’t enough

Published 9:38 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bennett’s Creek shortstop Vinny Ambrosino jumps and catches a throw as a Chesapeake runner steals second during a Major League district tournament game at Charles Peete Little League in Portsmouth on Tuesday evening. Ambrosino hit a game-tying homer in the top of the sixth only for Chesapeake to score a run in the bottom of the sixth and win 9-8.

PORTSMOUTH — Bennett’s Creek rallied to tie the game from an 8-2 deficit with three outs remaining Tuesday evening in a winner’s bracket game of the District 6 Major League (ages 11-12) Little League Tournament at Charles Peete Little League.

Vinny Ambrosino’s two-out solo homer completed the huge comeback and made it 8-8, only for Chesapeake Little League to answer with a single run, the run for a 9-8 win, in the bottom of the sixth.

The 9-8 final masks the pitcher’s duel that was on in the opening innings. BC took the lead in the top of the first with Jose Concepcion walking, moving around the paths thanks to two passed balls, then coming in when Hunter Foster laced a single down the line in left.

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Concepcion, a big righty who slings the ball to the plate side armed, allowed one Chesapeake run in the first before striking out six of the next seven hitters he faced.

Kevin Tohak came out of the pen, or specifically centerfield, and held Chesapeake in the third. With a runner on third and one out, Tohak got a strikeout and a pop-up caught by Vinny Ambrosino at second.

Concepcion and Foster combined for another run in the fourth. Concepcion walked and stole his way around to third. Foster came through with a hard grounder that was too hard for the Chesapeake shortstop for an RBI and a 2-1 BC lead.

Chesapeake seemingly put the contest out of reach with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth. A couple BC errors aided Chesapeake and a two-out, two-run triple was the big blow.

BC still trailed 8-2 going to its last at-bats, and it was an 8-4 Chesapeake lead when BC was down to its last out.

Johnny Ambrosino singled with a sharp grounder into left with Byron Lawrence on first. Lawrence rolled right around second without pausing. The throw from left went to second and it was wild, so Lawrence sprinted for the plate and scored for an 8-5 score.

Tohak lined a shot by the rightfielder and to the fence. The hit should’ve ended with BC runners on second and third until a wild relay throw. Johnny Ambrosino and Tohak kept racing around and both scored for an 8-7 score.

After taking a ball, Vinny Ambrosino launched a high fly that slowly carried beyond the leftfield fence for a game-tying home run.

Chesapeake didn’t need as many dramatic plays in the home half of the sixth. A leadoff walk was followed by two pop-ups in the infield. On the second out, though, a pop-up near third base, the Chesapeake runner tagged and took off for second. A hurried throw was errant and the runner moved safely to third.

The winning run came in with a smashed grounder up the middle and into center.

Vinny Ambrosino went 3-for-4 at the plate and Foster, BC’s clean-up guy, went 3-for-3 with three singles. Daniel Peacher replaced Tohak on the mound during Chesapeake’s big fourth inning. Peacher went 2.1 innings, allowing one run on one hit and striking out three.

The BC All-Stars opened the eight-team, double-elimination tournament with a 21-8 win over Olive Branch Saturday, so for the moment, Tuesday’s setback only means a longer path through the tournament. Next up for BC is a game Friday evening against the winner of Wilson vs. Charles Peete.