Sunday, August 18, 2013

Great Lakes Rallies Late, But Midwest Holds On To Win 6-5

WOLnews Photo
From Little League By Colin Brown
Despite a fantastic comeback rally in the bottom of the sixth inning by Michigan’s Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores Little League., Urbandale Little League from Urbandale, Iowa, held on for a 6-5 victory in Williamsport on Saturday night.

What seemed like an added insurance run in the top of the sixth inning for the Midwest ended up being the most important run of the game. Brady Roberts singled to right field, which scored Sam Petrillo to give Midwest a 6-0 lead.

Three more outs were all that Midwest needed.

Grant Garwood started the bottom of the sixth inning with a strikeout, but he had reached the Little League® pitch limit (85 pitches). With Garwood’s departure, pitcher Carter Troncin took the mound. Troncin walked the first two batters he faced, struck out the third, and walked the bases full with the fourth batter.

With one out left in the game, Midwest brought in Alex Augustine to finish the game. First pitch: Great Lakes’ Thomas Maxey roped a single up the middle, which scored Chad Lorkowski and Antonio Moceri and put Great Lakes on the board, 6-2. Next batter: Jack Vyletel cranked a three-run home run to left-center field to bring his team within one run of the lead.

With their six-run lead gone, Midwest needed just one more out. Augustine kept his composure and stopped the Great Lakes’ incredible rally when he struck out the final batter.

Through the first 5.1 innings, 12,438 fans at Howard J. Lamade Stadium saw a one-hit gem from Garwood who pitched four innings before allowing a hit to Maxey to start the fifth. The 5’11” ace recorded 13 strikeouts while allowing zero runs.

“Amazing—dominant. Couldn’t be more proud of that kid,” said Midwest manager Robert Ball. “I think he did an awesome job tonight.”

Great Lakes looked like they were going to snap Garwood’s no-hitter with two outs in the third inning when Tyler Hill hit a ball to shallow left field. But left fielder Brook Heinen made the defensive play of the game, diving full out to record the third out.

“He kept us off balance,” said Great Lakes manager Tom Mazzola of Garwood’s performance. “He did a fabulous job.”

Heinen carried the momentum into the top of the fourth inning with a three-run, line-drive homerun just over the left field wall, which gave Midwest a 4-0 lead. Heinen finished the game with one hit, one run, and three RBI.

Midwest got the first run of the game when Roberts broke up both the no-hitter and the scoreless game for Great Lakes with one swing of the bat in the top of the third inning. Roberts sent a hard ground ball to right field and Garwood scored as the throw home went over catcher Ryan Duffy’s head. Roberts finished the game two-for-four with two RBI.

With the win, Midwest stayed alive in the tournament and will play again on Monday, Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. at Lamade Stadium. Great Lakes will play their final game of the 2013 Little League World Series on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. at Lamade Stadium when they take on Europe and Africa in a consolation game.