Mound Time comes through in the clutch
Mound Time comes from behind with two runs in the final inning to beat Tucson
GLEN ALLEN, Va. - The hour was late.
The game was on the line.
And Mound Time came through.
Mound Time, facing Tucson, Ariz., in its second pool play game in the Babe Ruth World Series for 14-year-olds on Sunday, fell behind 3-0 early on, moved within 3-2 after three innings, then scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to win 4-3 at Glen Allen Stadium.
'That was just another one in our history of comeback games,' said second baseman/shortstop Rob Lavey. 'We had no doubt we were going to come back.'
'I knew we were going to be able to come back,' added third baseman/catcher James Armstrong, who went 1-for-3 at the plate and drove in one run. 'Their pitcher who came in (in the seventh inning) was shaky. He didn't want to be there.'
It wasn't easy, though.
Tucson broke through for three runs against Mound Time starter Parker Stidham (he pitched six innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six) in the top of the second. There, Anthony Felix was hit by a pitch with one out, Erick Migules singled to right, and France singled with two outs to make it 1-0. Migules then came home on a balk, and Nate Soriano followed with a double to left center for that 3-0 lead.
But Mound Time didn't panic, and began to build its comeback in the bottom of the third. Tony Niehuser got things going with a walk, Josh Lewellen singled down the right-field line, and with one out, Josh Hill singled through the right side to plate both Niehuser and Lewellen and cut their team's deficit to 3-2.
Stidham, after that second-inning hiccup, settled in and shut Tucson down the rest of the way. He allowed a hit and a walk but escaped the third unscathed, then struck out the side in the fourth, set Tucson down in order in the fifth, then allowed only a walk in a four-batter sixth before giving way to Lewellen.
Lewellen gave up two hits in the seventh but didn't allow a run, setting the table for his team's decisive final at-bat.
In the seventh, Lewellen led off with a walk, took second on a Lavey bunt, then saw Josh Hill and Matt Orcutt walk to load the bases with one out and chase Migules - the second Tucson pitcher - from the game. Stidham then drew a walk off Soriano to tie the game at 3-3, and after the second out, James Armstrong worked Soriano for a walk to force home pinch runner Grant Galligan with the game-winner.
'I wasn't nervous. We were looking good,' said Hill, who went 2-for-2 and knocked in two runs. 'When they brought their new pitcher in, I knew we were going to win.'
For the game, Lewellen went 2-for-2, scored twice and picked up the win in relief of Stidham. Soriano and France had one hit each and knocked in one run apiece in the loss.