Ultimate Baseball beats Wayne County Lumberjacks 6-3 in state semifinal
CHARLESTON, Mo. - The hot hitting continued for Ultimate Baseball Saturday afternoon at the Senior Babe Ruth state tournament at Hillhouse Park in Charleston.
Ultimate Baseball calculated at least six runs for a fourth straight game as it rallied from a 1-0 first-inning deficit to knock off two-time defending state champion Wayne County Lumberjacks 6-3 in a state semifinal.
“I think we played a really good game,” Ultimate Baseball coach Jon David French said. “David threw strikes after the first inning and kept us in the game. We are also starting to hit the ball again. That’s been a big difference the last three or four games. We are finally hitting the ball.”
Ultimate Baseball right-handed starting pitcher David Sawyer never allowed multiple hits in an inning. Sawyer allowed just two runs, three hits, struck out two, walked six and hit two in a 97-pitch six-inning outing.
“Their pitching staff has done a good job on us, not only today, but when we played them in the regular season,” Wayne County coach Jim Hicks said. “Normally we are a better hitting team, but they have managed to effectively shut us down.”
Wayne County made things interesting late.
The Lumberjacks brought the winning run to the plate in the top of the seventh inning after Jack LeGrand reached base on a two-out error, Tristan Holmes drew a two-out walk, Cole Dickerson followed with a two-out single and Jesse Holmes drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Ultimate Baseball elected to lift right-handed relief pitcher Ty Ellis, who started pitching at the start of the frame, and bring in right-handed reliever Zane Wallace.
Wallace escaped the bases-loaded jam when he got the first hitter he faced, Bryce Alcorn, to fly out to left fielder Cameren West for the final out.
“I was kind of getting scared after what happened last night,” French said. “But Zane was able to come in and throw strikes and get us out of it.”
Wayne County enjoyed a brief 1-0 lead after Jack LeGrand collected a one-out RBI single in the top of the first inning.
Ultimate Baseball responded with four runs in the bottom of the second inning and two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to move ahead 6-1.
Patrick Maddox and West had RBI singles and Ellis and Sawyer hit sacrifice flies for Ultimate Baseball in the fourth frame. Ellis added an two-out RBI triple and Lathan Brooks followed with a two-out RBI single to account for the other two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
“The guys came out and swung the bats,” French said. “The first inning we got underneath it and hit pop ups. But after that we started centering it and hitting line drives. That’s when we got runs.”
Tristan Holmes pitched the first five innings for Wayne County. He allowed six runs, nine hits, struck out two, walked four and hit one.
Tibbs relieved Tristan Holmes at the start of the bottom of the sixth inning. He retired three of the four hitters he faced.
Wayne County committed four errors behind its pitching staff.
“It’s hard to win games when you make four or five errors, especially when you are playing a team as solid as Ultimate Baseball,” Hicks said. “We’ve just got to make more plays.”
Charleston Fighting Squirrels beat Charleston AAA Nuts 10-0 in six innings in the other state semifinal.
Ultimate Baseball plays host Charleston Fighting Squirrels Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the state championship.
“Everything is starting to come together,” French said. “These boys are excited and they want to win this thing tonight. You cannot ask for a better matchup in the finals. The Squirrels have beat us all three times we’ve played so we are due. We’ve got Andy Roberts going tonight and will have Lathan Brooks available in relief. We are finally swinging the bats, so hopefully we are ready to go.”
Ultimate Baseball 6, Wayne County Lumberjacks 3
WC 100 001 1 - 3 4 4
UB 040 200 X - 6 9 2
WP - David Sawyer. LP - Tristan Holmes. 3B - Ty Ellis (UB). 2B - Wyatt Barks (WC). Multiple hits - Wayne County: Bryce Alcorn 2-3; Ultimate Baseball: Lathan Brooks 2-3.
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Pool Play Standings
POOL A: 1. Charleston Fighting Squirrels (3-0), 2. Wayne County Lumberjacks (2-1), 3. Southeast Tropics (1-2), 4. Monett (0-3)
POOL B: 1. Ultimate Baseball (2-1), 2. Charleston AAA (2-1), 3. Charleston AA (1-2), 4. Mineral Area (1-2)
Ultimate Baseball 9, Charleston AAA 0
Charleston AA 9, Mineral Area 5
Wayne County 7, Southeast Tropics 5
Charleston Fighting Squirrels 11, Monett 1 (5 Innings)
Ultimate Baseball 10, Charleston AA 7
Wayne County 15, Monett 8
Charleston AAA 4, Mineral Area 2
Charleston Fighting Squirrels 5 vs. Southeast Tropics 3
Southeast Tropics 17 vs. Monett 5
Charleston AAA 2, Charleston AA 1
Mineral Area 7, Ultimate Baseball 6
Charleston Fighting Squirrels 14 vs. Wayne County 0 (5 Innings)
Semifinal No. 1 - Charleston Fighting Squirrels 10, Charleston AAA 0 (6 Innings)
Semifinal No. 2 - Ultimate Baseball 6, Wayne County Lumberjacks 3
Third-Place Game: Wayne County Lumberjacks 7, Charleston AAA 6
Final: Charleston Fighting Squirrels vs. Wayne County Lumberjacks, 7:30 p.m.