Thanks to a big sixth inning against the South Texas Sliders Meyer on Wednesday afternoon, the LIDS Indiana Bulls White started pool play in the 2013 Premier Baseball Junior World Series on the right foot.
After a victory over Houston Heat black earlier in the day, the Bulls began the tournament 2-0 thanks to a four-run burst in the sixth that helped them defeat the Sliders 8-5 at the Seneca Baseball/Softball Complex.
The Bulls’ rally was sparked when a bases-loaded rally with no outs ignited on a three-run triple by Evan Kennedy to erase a 5-2 deficit and tie the game 5-5. That blow knocked out Sliders starter Michael Garcia, who’d been cruising prior to the hiccup. Kennedy would cross the dish when the first pitch from reliever Matt Myers skidded to the backstop to make it 6-5.
The Bulls added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on a two-run single by Alec Nelson to make it 8-5.
“Our whole deal was to just put it in play, move runners and we did,” Kennedy said. “That’s why we came out on top today. It’s just doing the small things right.”
One of those small adjustments, one Kennedy said the entire team adhered to, was adjusting pitch selection at the plate.
“We were swinging at bad pitches,” he said in reference to the first few innings. “Finally we settled in and started swinging at good pitches, and once we start swinging at strikes it’s hard to beat us when we’re putting the ball in play and getting hits.”
Kennedy (6’3, 210 pounds) preps at Lafayette Central Catholic High School in San Antonio, Texas. He finished the day a home run shy of the cycle with three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Teammate Roman Baisa had two hits, while Ben Powell doubled and scored two runs, Zeke Howie doubled and scored once, Nelson had a hit, scored once and added three RBIs, and Tucker Marcum and Jay Prior each had a hit.
Prior picked up the victory on the mound after allowing a run on one hit with two strikeouts in three innings of relief.
Ellis Bitar had two hits and scored a run to lead the Sliders, while Cole Jackson had two hits, including a double. Ben Brookover had a solo home run and scored twice and Tanner Wall, Jack Thompson, Jorge Flores and Nick Mireles all had a hit.
In the final game of the day, New York Nine scored four unanswered runs late to top Houston Heat Black, 4-1.
The Heat struck quick against New York starter Nick Nemeth in the first inning. After retiring the first batter of the game, Nemeth walked J.T. White, who stole second and scored when Dom Thornton served an RBI single into right to make it 1-0 just three batters into the game. The Heat, however, wouldn’t score again.
Page 2 of 2 - New York struck with two outs in the bottom of the fourth when Spencer Sohmer ripped a triple to the wall in right to score John Vitolano and Jordan Bichler, making it 2-1. The Nine added two more in the fifth when Niko Hagerty hit a two-run homer to left to make it 4-1.
Relief pitcher Stephen Danks earned the save with two scoreless innings of relief while Nemeth got the victory after allowing a run on four hits with two strikeouts.
Sohmer led the team at the plate with a double, triple and two RBIs, while Hagerty had two hits and Frankie Guliano and Bichler had a hit apiece.
Thornton, Teddy Hoffman, White and Luke Sherley had a hit each.