Frank’s Pizza wins crown
Frank’s Pizza got hot at the right time as it steamed through the playoffs without a loss and then proceeded to win the Washington Cal Ripken League Rookie Division championship by holding off Beaufort Builders 7-6 on Saturday in five innings.
Frank’s Pizza jumped out to a 6-1 lead heading into the top of the fourth, but the Beaufort Builders responded with a five-run rally to force a fifth inning.
After the Beaufort Builders (10-8) went scoreless in the top of fifth, Frank’s Pizza (10-6) led off the inning with three straight hits to load the bases before a Liam Paul grounder allowed the winning run to cross home plate.
Frank’s Pizza’s seventh run cemented the Rookie Division title and capped off an amazing run through the playoffs.
“We had a good season and we tied for fourth and were placed fifth heading into the tournament,” Frank’s Pizza’s coach C.W. Moore said. “Then we came back and swept the tournament. What I can tell you about our team is that it’s not just enough to want to win, we have the willingness to prepare to win.”
Beaufort Builder’s coach Jay Dixon said he was proud of the way his team fought back, not just in the title game, but for the entire playoffs.
“It was special. We got down in the loser’s bracket to start it and we had to battle all the way back and win four games just to get here,” Dixon said. “It was awesome. Our guys really battled and I’m proud of them.”
Frank’s Pizza stormed out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Messiah Levy scooted around the bases for a two-run home run to take an early advantage.
Beaufort Builders cut the deficit in half in the second when Bill Beaver produced an RBI single.
Frank’s Pizza padded its lead in the bottom of the third when Eli Hyunh drilled a two-run base hit to go up 5-1. Later in the inning Frank’s Pizza appeared to take an 8-1 lead on a Hayden Moore three-run home run, but it was deemed that one of the runners did not touch third on the way home. The ruling removed two runs off the board and left the score at 6-1 heading into the top of the fourth.
In the Rookie Division, the rules state that each game must be a minimum of four innings and each contest also has an hour-and-15-minute game clock, which meant time was running out for the Beaufort Builders.
Trailing by five runs, the Builders built up a rally that featured RBIs by Jacob Dorn, Mathew Dixon, Beaver and Kevin Moore, with the last one tying the game at six.
The Beaufort Builder could not conjure up that same magic in its next at bat as it went scoreless in the top of the fifth before Frank’s Pizza scored the game-winning run in the home half of the inning.
Beaufort Builders 010 50 — 6 7
Frank’s Pizza 213 01 — 7 8
Hitting: B — Trey Cherry 1-2, Chase Hodges 1-2, Jacob Dorn 2-2, Mathew Dixon 1-2, Jake Keimis 1-2, Bill Beaver 1-2; F — Brandon Cox 1-2, Eli Hyunh 1-2, Messiah Levy 1-2, Tucker Jackson 2-2, William Reid 1-2, Jay Norris 1-2, Liam Paul 1-2.