Va. Little League team continues to rally, win
CEREDO-KENOVA -- Three games, three deficits. That's the way Virginia has started games in the Little League Baseball age 9-10 Tournament of State Champions at Mitch Stadium.
Twice, Mechanicsville National, the Virginia rep, came back to win. The second occasion happened Monday night when Mechanicsville found itself down 6-2 to West Virginia going into the bottom of the third inning.
Mechanicsville struck for four runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game, scored once in the fourth to take the lead and added two in the fifth to register a 9-6 victory and advanced from pool play into Tuesday's semifinal round and send Bridgeport home.
"Our kids never give up," Mechanicsville coach Brian Colgin said. "This has been a great hitting team."
Mechanicsville trailed Georgia, 7-0, but came back to win, 11-7. Florida opened an 11-0 lead on the Virginia team on the way to a 14-7 victory.
Virginia will meet Keystone from Odessa, Fla., in the first semifinal Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Florida (3-0) is the No. 2 seed after pool play and Virginia is No. 3.
In the second game, Goodlettsville, Tenn., (3-0) will take on Oconee County, Ga., at 8 p.m.
Goodlettsville (3-0) held off Oconee County (Ga.), 8-6, in the first game Monday to secure the No. 1 seed. When Phenix City, Ala., rallied to beat Wilson City, N.C., 4-2, in the nightcap, Georgia got the No. 4 spot via tiebreaker. Wilson would have advanced with a win.
Bridgeport sent 11 men to the plate in the six-run third inning. After that, Mechanicsville reliever Jack Hawley kept Bridgeport off the board for the final three innings.
On offense, Nick Talley belted a three-run homer to highlight the four-run third for Mechanicsville. Brett Allen delivered an RBI double in the fifth to put the Virginia team ahead to stay. In the fifth, Caydon Richardson and Hawley each connected for run-scoring doubles to complete the comeback.
"He got all of it," Colgin said of Talley's homer. "That created the spark, gave us momentum."
Allen started for Mechanicsville and went the first three innings. He moved to shortstop when Hawley came on and made a nice running catch on Frank Why's soft liner to left for the final out.
"He's had two rough outings, but he pulled us through at the bat," Colgin said. "Hawley just threw strikes. I've told the kids you can't defend walks."
Colgin said his players look forward to the rematch with Florida.
"It'll be an uphill battle," he said. "It's a chance to redeem ourselves. We know we can't spot them 11 runs."
In the nightcap, Phenix City scored three runs in the top of the sixth off reliever Chad Bean to beat Wilson. Tyler Haynes drove in one with a double. In the fourth, P.J. Ramsey hit a solo homer over the fence in right. Hayes went 5.1 innings to get the win and Jackso Meeks got the final two outs for the save.
Tennessee struck for seven runs in the first and then held off a Georgia comeback attempt.
South Carolina held a 5-2 lead on Florida going into the top of the sixth. That's when Keystone sent 15 batters to the plate and scored nine times to nail down the top seed and send Irmo home.
TENNESSEE 700 010 -- 8 6 2
GEORGIA 300 300 0 -- 6 9 2
W -- C. Nisbet.
Hitting: (G) Stephen Mustard 3-4.
FLORIDA 000 209 -- 11 9 1
SOUTH CAROLINA 004 013 -- 8 9 2
W -- Bobby Christy.
Hitting: (SC) Jay Metts 2-4, Adam Steger 2-4, Collin Shealy 3-4. (F) Dominic Lafalce 4-4, Ty Bittman 2-3.
WEST VIRGINIA 006 000 -- 6 7 3
VIRGINIA 024 12x -- 9 12 2
W -- Jack Hawley.
Hitting: (WV) Jack Bifano 2-2. (V) Nick Talley HR, 3 RBI; Brett Allen RBI, Hawley 2B, RBI; Cayden Richardson 2B, RBI.
ALABAMA 000 103 -- 4 6 1
NORTH CAROLINA 000 200 -- 2 2 3
W -- Tyler Haynes.
Hitting: (A) Jackson Meeks 3-3, Ramsey HR, RBI; Haynes 2B, RBI.