Athletic Edge survivesPublished 2:30pm Friday, June 20, 2014
WASHINGTON — Fighting through 95-degree heat and the possibility of severe thunderstorms later in the evening, Athletic Edge dampened a late-inning offensive surge by Extreme Action Park to come away with an interleague win, 9-6.
Extreme Action, a Junior Babe Ruth team out of Chocowinity, entered Thursday’s contest with a 3-6 record, struggling to stay afloat in a pitching-centered Beaufort County Conference. For head coach Tyler Waters and Athletic Edge, it’s been a similar story this season, boasting a 4-5 record and a fourth-place position in a top-heavy Washington Junior Babe Ruth Conference.
In the first inning, both teams came out swinging, hinting that the final score would be decided by whoever could play consistent defensively and score the most runs.
After Athletic Edge starter Brody Moore walked Ryan Kolibabek to start the game, Carter Barnes followed with a single and, two batters later and just minutes into the game, Will Warren blasted a double down the third-base line, plating the first run of the game. Josh Toler and Warren also came around to score in the inning.
Despite a poor start, Athletic Edge quickly made up ground, starting with a single from Trip Bonner up the middle. Toler, the Chocowinity starting pitcher, fanned the next two hitters, but an infield error, triple to left field from Dustin Johnson, a hard-hit single from Isaac Paul and double from Ben Beech gave Washington a 4-3 lead, one which it would never relinquish.
After just one inning, Tyler Waters pulled Brady Moore for his brother, Jeremiah, who gave hitters a different look with his two-seam fastball and knuckleball combination.
Though two innings, Jeremiah Moore pounded the zone with knucklers and allowed just one hit, but in the fourth, Extreme Action began to adjust. After a leadoff walk, Chocowinity strung together three-straight hits, provided by Josh Toler, Warren and Carlos Casiano. Jeremiah Moore was replaced with standout right-hander Nick Hardison, who has provided his team with quality innings in the starting role this season.
Offensively, Athletic Edge added run support every inning, two in the second off hits from Bonner and the Moore brothers, as well as one in the third off an error and hits by Paul and Beech.
Due to time restrictions, the top of the fifth would be the last chance for Extreme Action to put four runs on the board, down 9-5. After Hardison walked Juantavious Little on five pitches, Tyler Waters replaced Hardison with Alex Waters. Little was gunned down trying to steal second by the catcher, as Alex Waters walked the first batter he faced, the speedy Juan Casiano, who managed to steal second and third.
On a balk, Juan Casiano came around to score, but the one run would not be enough.
For Athletic Edge, Beech finished with two hits, including an RBI double, while Paul ended with two base knocks and two RBI.
Toler went the distance for Extreme Action and picked up the loss, allowing nine runs (six earned) over four innings.
With the win, Athletic Edge improves to 5-5 on the season and will face first-place 5th Street in the final game of the regular season today at 10 a.m.