Mound Time starts fast, then blows out Janesville, Wisc., in the World Series quarterfinals
GLEN ALLEN, Va. - Pool play was, to be honest, not everything that the Mound Time all-stars had hoped it would be.
Mound Time, playing in the Babe Ruth 14-year-old World Series in Glen Allen, Va., lost its last two pool play games, went just 2-2 in pool play and finished third in the tournament's American Division.
But none of that mattered once the Bandits hit championship play.
Mound Time opened bracket play with a bang, hammering Janesville, Wisc. - the second-place finisher from the National Division - 14-2 at Glen Allen Stadium on Aug. 25 to earn a berth in the tournament semifinals.
Mound Time grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, made it 5-2 in the fourth, 7-2 in the fifth, then blew up for seven runs in the final two innings to win going away.
'We started to open things up and that was good,' said Mound Time manager Greg Cero. 'We really needed that to happen.'
Third baseman Parker Stidham made sure that good things happened - and happened right away - against Janesville. Batting in the top of the first with two outs and Rob Lavey and Matt Orcutt on base, Stidham cranked out a home run to center field to give his team an early 3-0 lead.
'Honestly, when (Stidham) hit that, I knew in my heart that we'd win,' Cero said.
Janesville answered with two runs in the bottom of the first, getting a solo homer from Brennan Olin and an RBI walk by Alex Faust, but it wouldn't be enough this day. Mound Time pitcher Josh Lewellen (he threw seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and five walks while striking out two) allowed no more damage the rest of the way and allowed just one runner to reach third in the game's final six innings.
Orcutt, who went 5-for-5 on the day, drove in two runs with a fourth-inning double. Lewellen and Rob Lavey drove in two more runs with singles in the fifth to make it 7-2, and the floodgates really opened after that.
In the sixth, Mound Time got hits from Orcutt and Stidham and took advantage of four Janesville errors to score four times. And in the seventh, Stidham singled to left field to plate two runs, and Mound Time's final run came home on a Janesville error.
For the game, Orcutt went 5-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored, Lewellen went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI, Stidham was 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored, and Grant Galligan was 2-for-2 and scored once.