Red Sox clinch|Red Sox clinch title, Rays beat Phillies

Published 2:42 pm Monday, May 18, 2009

By Staff
From staff reports
from staff reports
For the first time in almost a week, weather didn’t play a role in washing out Little League baseball Thursday night at the Sports Park.
While a light shower made a short appearance, it did not hamper two of the most exciting games played this season. In one, the Red Sox and the Reds—locking horns in a battle for the 9-10-year-old league championship—traded leads before the Red Sox pulled out a late 11-9 victory to assure themselves of the regular-season title.
In a game that changed leads three times, the two teams who have battled all season for the 9-10 division league title provided yet another thrilling finish Thursday night.
In the two previous meetings—with each winning once—the visiting team had scored at least four first-inning runs only to end up watching the home team eventually come back to win.
So when the Red Sox jumped out to a 5-0 first-inning lead—thanks to a bases-loaded triple by Russell Smith—only to see the Reds take a late 9-7 lead with their ace on the mound, it would have been easy to assume the game was over.
But the Red Sox, who have won six times this year by coming from behind, had one last rally in them.
Gibb Roberts and Lane Clark each drew walks to lead off the top of the final inning, setting up Troy Lewis’ RBI double that drew his team to within 9-8. The tying and winning runs then scored when Joshua Winton ripped a single to center field.
Caleb Winton, who struck out five batters in two innings of work, got three of those in the final frame to earn the win.
The Red Sox (8-1, 5-1) were led at the plate by Lewis and Clark, each of whom had two hits.
For the Reds (6-4, 3-3) Hunter Brittain had a two-run single, while both Garrett Salter and Stokes Jennings each contributed RBI singles. Jennings also made a couple of outstanding plays on defense.
It seems the nastier the weather, the better the Rays play. So, for them, playing in a Thursday rain shower felt right at home as they handed the Phillies their first league loss of the season on the power of a Christian Carlson game-breaking home run. In doing so, the Rays (6-5, 5-3) solidified their position as the second team in the 11-12 division standings.
While the Rays jumped out to a 6-2 lead, the Phillies didn’t go away easily by tying the game in the top of the second inning on a grand slam home run over the right field fence by Kyle Davis. The Phillies eventually took a 7-6 lead shortly after.
With time becoming a factor, the home-team Rays got the inside-the-park home run from Carlson to go up 9-7 before increasing the advantage to 11-7 then shutting down the Phillies in the final inning to get the win.
The Phillies were paced by Davis’ homer.     
TWINS 13, A’s 6
Powered by two five-run innings to start the game and a cooperative effort on the mound by four pitchers the Twins were able to gain the victory.
Will Smith earned the win on the mound, while Patrick Ard, Luke Agerton and Trippe Floyd all combined with Smith to pitch in the victory. On the offensive side, Floyd led the way with a 3-for-4 performance that resulted in four RBIs. Keaton Parker added a pair of hits and scored three times, Ard added a pair of hits and two RBIs and Jonathan Lucas scored three times. Agerton and Josh Bailey each contributed singles and a run scored.
The following were games played a week ago that didn’t make Wednesday’s edition:
While the Red Sox managed just four hits in their win last Thursday it was a second-inning, bases-loaded triple by Russell Smith that turned the tide of the game and propelled the Red Sox (7-1, 4-1) to the win. While the Cubs took an early 4-1 lead, the Red Sox recorded their fifth come-from-behind win of the year by scoring 13 second-inning runs.
Along with Smith’s long blast to right field, Troy Lewis ran out a pair of infield hits for two RBIs. Harrison Hughes added an RBI single and Hayden Atkinson scored twice.
The Cubs were led by Daniel Blair and Sam Terry, who had the Cubs’ only two hits in the game.
If the saying is true that the best offense is a great defense, Keaton Parker took it to heart last Thursday night.
In fact, the stalwart shortstop seemed to take it personally, making play after spectacular play from his infield position to help his Twins defeat the Rays in an exciting match up of 11-12-year-old division teams.
In a well-played game, defense and pitching highlighted the game through three innings as neither team could plate a run. Parker’s first and most timely defensive gem prevented what would have been a run for the Rays in the first inning.
With one out, Jake Najor slapped a triple in the right-centerfield gap. After Will Smith induced a strikeout for the second out, Larry Cheatum drilled a ground ball up the middle that Keaton ran down, spun and made the accurate throw to first base to get the out and preserve the scoreless tie. Parker made key defensive plays in five of the six innings played.
The Twins finally put three runs on the board in the fourth inning, thanks to RBI hits from Noah Morris, Luke Agerton, Parker and Jonathan Lucas. In the meantime, Smith was pitching a gem, striking out seven and walking just one to record the win.
Morris ended the night with two hits and two RBIs, while Agerton added a pair of hits. Trippe Floyd had a two-run hit and Duncan Brittain an RBI single to contribute to the win.
For the Rays, Cheatum and Najor had a pair of hits, while Dylan Etheridge added a triple and Hunter Harp, Austin Holmes and Grant Youngblood each had hits.
Rays 8, Flomaton 5
With the game tied 1-1 at the end of second inning Flomaton went up 3-1 in third inning only to see the Rays fight back and get an 8-5 win.
Chris Jones started off the fourth with a single to center field and was followed by a triple by Hunter Harp to bring in Jones. Grant Youngblood followed with a hit to the centerfield fence bringing in Harp.
As Harp rounded third base, Flomaton overthrew the bag allowing Youngblood to score. Walker Harris followed with a slap to left field and was brought in by Dylan Etheridge’s double.
The Ray’s took the lead 5-3 and held Flomaton scoreless in the fourth inning.
With the lead, Jarrod Cooper scored in the fifth inning by a single by Austin Holmes. Youngblood followed up with a drive straight down the third base line for an in the park homerun. Despite two runs given up in the fifth the rays held on for the 8-5 win. Harris was 1-for-3 at the plate along with Jake Najor. Etheridge was 2-for-3 with a single, double and an RBI.
Pitcher Jarrod Cooper got the win in relied in the fifth inning.

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