Late rally keeps Angels unbeaten; Braves get back on right track
Published 10:44 pm Monday, June 18, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Angels manager Jacob Salter was not around for his team's final at-bat after an ejection the previous inning.
Too bad. Salter missed a four-run rally by his squad in the top of the seventh inning that sparked the Angels to a 6-3 win over Flomaton and kept them unbeaten in Advanced Babe Ruth League play Friday at T.R. Miller High School.
In Friday's other league game, the Braves lashed out four extra-base hits and cruised to a 9-4 win over the Diamondbacks. The win kept the Braves one game back of the Angels for the top spot in the league.
Angels 6, Flomaton 3
The Angels (4-0 overall and 3-0 in league play) overcame 14 strikeouts at the plate against Flomaton pitchers Chris Edwards and Tyler Coleman, four errors in the field and a pair of balks that enabled Flomaton to take a one-run lead in the fifth inning.
Missed opportunities hurt the Angels in the first three innings where they left six runners on base, but they broke through in the top of the fourth with a pair of runs. Blake Crosby singled, was balked to second and went to third on a single by Caleb Palmer. Crosby scored on a wild pitch and Palmer came home on a double by Angels pitcher Mackie Jackson that made it 2-0.
Jackson faced the minimum during the first three innings, but fell victim to a couple of unearned runs in the bottom half of the inning. Turner Armstrong reached on an infield error and Keegan Lambeth walked. Both runners moved up a base on an error on a pickoff attempt at second base. The miscue set up a two-run single by Sam Mize that tied the game at 2-2.
Flomaton (1-2 in league play) took a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Jackson hit Jesse Chavers and walked Alex Ortiz. Reliever Jonathan Taylor then committed a pair of balks that scored Chavers with the go-ahead run.
The Angels tied the game in similar fashion in the top of the seventh. Christopher Griffin beat out an infield single and Colby Franks was hit by a pitch. Griffin moved over to third on a wild pitch and scored when Coleman committed a balk.
The Angels were not done yet. An RBI single by Jackson gave the Angels a 4-3. Sam Sharpe beat out an infield single that drove in a run and went to second on an error. Sharpe stole third and scored when the throw down to third base sailed into left field to make it 6-3.
Blake Crosby pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the Angels to get the win. Crosby took over the pitching chores when Salter was ejected after a dispute on trips to the mound that led to the removal of Taylor after two-thirds of an inning of relief.
Braves 9, Diamondbacks 4
The Braves scored early and late, as they climbed above the .500 mark for the season at 4-3 and in league play at 2-1.
An infield single by Jacob Cannon, an RBI triple by Tyler Nall and an RBI groundout by Becker Denton against Diamondbacks pitcher Josey Brown gave the Braves a 2-0, first inning lead they never relinquished.
Cannon doubled and later stole home on the front end of a double steal with John Mathieu in the second inning that made it 3-0.
The Braves pulled away in the fifth with a three-run rally that doubled the cushion to 6-0. Mathieu singled, went to second on a wild pitch and scored when Nall reached on an error. Denton followed with an RBI triple and Derek Busby added an RBI groundout.
Mathieu was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Nall in the top of the sixth that made it 7-0.
The Diamondbacks (1-5 overall and 0-3 in league play) were blanked on just two hits with eight strikeouts against Busby and Mathieu over the first five innings, but they managed to string together a four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth.
A walk to Josh Sawyer and singles by Jake Smith and Josey Brown broke up the shutout. Jake Dixon hit into a fielder's choice, but later scored on a front end of a double steal with Tyler Cross. Cross had gotten two runs in when he reached on an error.
The Braves regained the momentum and picked up a couple of insurance markers in the top of the seventh when Jimmy Conner delivered a two-run single.
Angels 7, Braves 4
Five Braves errors led to five unearned runs for the Angels in their 7-4 victory.
Three of those errors came in the bottom of the first inning when a four-run rally by the Angels wiped out what had been a 3-0 lead for the Braves.
The Braves built their initial lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Tyler Nall, an RBI double by Becker Denton and an RBI groundout by William Shell.
It quickly went downhill for the Braves after that. Sam Sharpe and Allen Williams reached on back-to-back errors to start the bottom of the first prior to a two-run triple by Corey Williams. The rest of the lead disappeared when Williams scored on a wild pitch unleashed by Braves hurler William Shell. The Angels took a 4-3 lead when Seth Holland was hit by a pitch, went to third on a single by Will Waters and scored when Christopher Griffin reached on an error.
The Braves tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the second when Wesley Booker doubled, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a squeeze bunt by John Mathieu.
An RBI double by Colby Franks and an RBI single by Tanner Shehan in the bottom of the fourth put the Angels ahead for good.
The Angels extended that lead to 7-4 in the fifth when Holland reached on an error, stole second and scored when Griffin reached on an error.
Flomaton 11, Diamondbacks 3
The Diamondbacks found themselves saddled with a five-run deficit before they even came to bat and never recovered in an 11-3 loss to Flomaton.
Taylor Berry's two-run single and Alex Ortiz's RBI double sparked Flomaton to its first inning outburst against Diamondbacks pitcher Casey Butts. The Diamondbacks also committed three errors in that inning.
Flomaton pitchers Alex Ortiz and Caleb Bethea combined on a two-hitter and neither of the Diamondbacks' hits factor into their scoring.
Consecutive walks to Jake Smith, James Freeman, Tyler Cross and Josh Sawyer and a run-scoring wild pith helped the Diamondbacks narrow the gap in the bottom of the third.
Flomaton got those two runs back in the top of the fourth and regained their original five-run lead. A two-run double by Keegan Lambeth and an RBI single by Bethea fueled a four-run fifth inning that enabled Flomaton to run its lead up to 11-2.
The Diamondbacks never picked up a hit until the bottom of the fourth when Josey Brown lined a single off Bethea. Jake Smith singled in the bottom of the seventh for the Diamondbacks' other hit.