Evidently when the Triple Play Hornets fall behind 9-1, they still consider themselves to be in the game.
For the second time in the USABA 18 and under World Series, Triple Play of Washington fell behind 9-1. And for the second time, the Hornets were able to come back for the win.
This time, the Hornets came back to beat the Apaches Red of Texas 11-10 in eight innings on Friday at Governor's Field to win the USABA World Series title. Earlier in the tournament, Triple Play came back to beat Edmonton after falling behind 9-1.
"If we can stay in it long enough, we're going to hit and score some runs," Triple Play manager Jerry Hardin said.
Triple Play had to overcome the play of the Apaches' Justin Cone, who belted two home runs, including a grand slam home run, a pitched six strong innings. But Tyler Jacobsen hit two two-run shots for the Hornets, one of which was the game-tying home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to force extra innings.
The Hornets would have never been able to come back if not for the effort of Gabriel Medina, who pitched four scoreless innings, not allowing a hit over the last three innings he worked.
"His slider was really good, his off speed stuff was really good," Hardin said. "He shut the door."
The Apaches were able to retake a 10-9 lead in the eighth on Darius Wu's RBI single. But in the bottom of the eighth, Triple Play's Jon Buettner and Brett Lusebrink each singled and moved up to second and third on Joe Harris' sacrifice bunt. After Sean McNaughton walked, Jose Delgado followed with a soft line drive down the right field line that scored two runs and gave the Hornets the title.
In the first, Nick Littrell, Allen Graham, Eric Everly and Tony Rees all singled to give the Apaches a 1-0 lead. Cone followed with his grand slam to make it 5-0. In the bottom of the first, Triple play made it 5-1 on the strength of McNaughton's single and Delgado's double.
In the third, Cone, Wu, Jordan Hall, Hunter Pelt and Littrell all singled and Graham hit a sacrifice fly to give the Apaches an 8-1 lead. Cone's solo shot in the fourth made it 9-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Buettner and Lusebrink each singled to score a run and pinch runner Kevin Rice hustled home on a passed ball to pull the Hornets to within 9-3.
Harris tripled in the fifth, but was wiped out trying to score on a line drive when Rees made the catch in right field and nailed Harris at the plate for a double play. Delgado, though, followed with a single and then Jacobsen hit a two-run shot to make it 9-5.
In the sixth, Austin LeSage singled and Lusebrink followed with a two-run shot to make it 9-7. Hardin said Lusebrink's homer was just as important as Jacobsen's two home runs.
"It was a slider and that guy had a pretty good slider," said Hardin about Lusebrink's homer off of Cone.
Cone struck out seven before giving way to Everly in the seventh. But Everly couldn't nail down the win. After an error, Jacobson sent a shot down the right field line to tie the score.
Harris had three hits, including a triple and a double, Lusebrink had three hits, Jacobsen had the two two-run homers, Buettner and Delgado each had two hits and Brian Dilley added a hit for the Hornets. Kyle Reichert pitched one inning for the win.
Cone and Wu each had three hits and Cory Kral and Everly each had two hitsm for the Apaches, who earned the respect of Hardin. "Give those guys a lot of credit," he said.