East Cobb Astros Go Undefeated in 16U National Team Championships NC Title Run
After falling behind 4-1, the East Cobb Astros rallied with three runs in the fourth and two in both the fifth and sixth innings to go undefeated in the 16U National Team Championships North Carolina with a 8-5 victory over Canes National in the gold medal game on Sunday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
With the victory, the East Cobb Astros finished the event with a perfect 8-0 record, while handing Canes National its first loss of the week
The East Cobb Astros struck first in the championship game. Termarr Johnson and Harry Ford drew back-to-back two-out walks to put runners on first and second in the top of the first for Alvin Keels, who capitalized with a clutch single that brought in Johnson to give East Cobb Astros a 1-0 lead.
But that lead wouldn’t hold long as Canes National wasted no time, responding with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Xavier Isaac launched his third home run of the tournament – a solo shot to left-center – to tie the game at 1-1 heading to the second inning.
After holding the East Cobb Astros scoreless in the top half of the second inning, Canes National took its first lead of the game in the bottom half. An error and a walk put two on before three consecutive singles from Paxton Kling, Gavin Gallaher and James Triantos brought in two runs to give Canes National a 3-1 lead.
Canes National kept its momentum rolling in the bottom of the third inning to add on to its lead. Isaac picked up his second hit of the day with a one-out single and a walk to AJ Shepard set the stage for Roman Anthony, who came through with an RBI single through the left side to bring home Isaac and make it a 4-1 game.
East Cobb Astros tied the game back up with three runs in the top of the fourth thanks to a bases-loaded wild pitch, a Karson Bowen RBI-single that made it a 4-3 game and an RBI-groundout by Cooper Williams that tied it at four runs apiece.
In its next chance at the plate, East Cobb Astros piled on in the top of the fifth to take its first lead of the game since the first inning. Thaddeus Ector and Johnson drew back-to-back walks to lead off the inning before Keels recorded his second RBI hit of the day to drive in Ector and Karson Bowen drew a four-pitch walk that extended East Cobb Astros lead to 6-4.
One inning later, the East Cobb Astros kept their foot to the gas as they added two more runs to make it a four-run game in the top of the sixth. J Williams and Hector each drew one-out walks and then moved to second and third, respectively, as Ford came to the plate. Ford came up clutch with a two-out, two-RBI triple to give the East Cobb Astros an 8-4 advantage.
After being held scoreless in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and down to its last three outs, Canes National got its offense rolling. Triantos drew a one-out walk and stole second to put a runner in scoring position for Ryan Clifford, who lined a single into right field to get a run back and make it an 8-5 contest.
But despite drawing two more walks that loaded the bases for Canes National with two outs, East Cobb Astros shut down the threat to secure the 8-5 victory and the 16U National Team Championships North Carolina gold medal.
Five batters collected hits for the East Cobb Astros in the victory with Keels (2-for-3; 2 RBIs) leading the way with the team’s only multi-hit and multi-RBI game. Xavier Isaac (2-for-4) paced the Canes National offense in the loss after collecting two runs, an RBI and two hits, including a solo home run – his third long ball of the tournament.
The win was attributed to Sullivan Brackin (1-0) after his 4.1 innings of relief in which he allowed just one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out six. Kassius Thomas (0-1) suffered the loss in the title game when he allowed one run in his 0.2 innings on the mound.
See full USA Baseball article: https://www.usabaseball.com/news/