Washington’s 8U All-Stars stay alive in tournament

Published 6:35 pm Friday, July 31, 2015

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS NICE PLAY: Catcher Cayden Pake puts the tag on a Williamston base runner in the sixth inning to keep the score tied.

NICE PLAY: Catcher Cayden Pake puts the tag on a Williamston base runner in the sixth inning to keep the score tied.


For The Daily News


After Washington’s 8U team won their first game of the Little Tarheel State Tournament on Thursday night, their focus shifted to their Friday morning matchup with Williamston.

Williamston also came into the game after winning on the previous night in walk-off style with a home run against Parkwood. With both teams riding a wave of momentum, the matchup did not let the fans down.

In the bottom of the second inning, Washington’s Cayden Pake scored from first when Matthew Jefferson hit a hard double to the outfield. Later in the same inning Bryce Williams drove in Jefferson on a single to give Washington the lead at 2-1.

The only other run that Washington scored in the game came when Tanner Moore’s single allowed the inning’s first hitter Cade Mixon to make it 3-1 Washington.

After Williamston tacked on two runs in the fifth inning, neither team would score again until the Williamston rally in the eighth inning. Williamston recorded four hits and one fielder’s choice that combined for the two game winning runs.

After the long and hard-fought loss, Washington only had a few hours to get ready for their next opponent in Wilkes Co. American in an elimination game.

“After the first game, we all had to go and cool down with it being so hot,” said Washington head coach Zach Mixon. “We were a little disappointed with the first lost, but we got our heads together and then the guys played good baseball in the second game.”

Prior to the start of the second game, coach Mixon gave his team a message in the dugout to motivate his team to play their best.

“I told them to have fun,” coach Mixon said. “That’s what we are here for. I told them to all have a good time and not to worry about the pressure and to just play baseball.”

Washington matched up against Wilkes County American, who had just won their first game of the tournament in a 10-run rule. Washington won the coin flip and elected to take home field advantage to make sure they would have the last at bat.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the score knotted at 6-6, Cayden Pake led off with a hard hit double to left field. Moore then came up to bat with one out and drove the ball to the shortstop, who elected to not try and get the out at first, which kept Pake standing on second.

With one out away, Bryce Williams hit a long single to left field which advanced all of the runners. With the bases loaded and the game on the line, Will Glover drove in Pake to win the game and preserve Washington’s championship hopes.

“We aren’t ready to break up yet,” coach Mixon said. “We will have to fight back and play hard all day tomorrow and try and get back on Sunday for the championship.”