Jamesville 15U capitalizes on Bath’s mistakes

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Jamesville’s 15U all stars had to do something that no other team had done throughout the Little Tar Heel League tournament: beat Bath not once, but twice to win it all.

Jamesville did just that when it handed Bath an 11-5 loss to force a deciding game on Monday evening. Fatigue seemingly caught up with Bath’s all stars. Their hard-hit balls went right into gloves while Jamesville’s found gaps. Bath made mistakes on the base paths that Jamesville’s defense jumped on en route to a 15-9 win late Monday night.

After a decisive win in the first game, Jamesville stormed out with five first-inning runs — three of which came with two outs — in the second game. The visiting all stars got lucky in a few instances. For example, one of their singles came on a slow roller through the inside grass.

Some of them came on routine plays Bath struggled to make. Two of Jamesville’s five runs in the first came in on an error.

There was plenty of baseball left, and Bath didn’t concede the game. Cam Craig, who notched the team’s first hit of the game with a single to left field, helped Bath start chipping away at its deficit when he scored on a base hit to right by Carter Boyd.

Douglas Dixon settled in on the mound after the first inning. Jamesville had been seeing his pitches well, but he struck out the first two he faced in the second frame. He gave up consecutive two-out singles before inducing a groundout back to himself.

Bath cut the deficit to two runs in the bottom of the stanza. Craig, with two outs and the bases loaded, blasted a two-RBI double to right field that scored Ryan Cornelius and Caleb Alligood. Bath’s defense held Jamesville to just four batters in the top of the third, allowing it to take the lead in the bottom of the inning.

Mason Weaver singled to shallow centerfield and Cornelius drew a walk to give Bath two baserunners with one out. That set the table for Nate VanStaalduinen to step up and crank a three-run shot over the centerfield fence.

Nate VanStaalduinen watches as the ball meets his bat for a three-run bomb to centerfield. It gave Bath its first and only lead, 6-5.

The home run gave Bath its first lead of the game, 7-6. The home standing all stars held off Jamesville in the fourth, but couldn’t in the fifth. The visitors drew two walks to start things off, and tied the game on a dropped third strike. That brought in Matthew Adams to relieve Dixon. Jamesville quickly tagged him for an RBI single to shortstop that gave it a lead it wouldn’t surrender.

Bath, also facing a new pitcher, got a two-out double from VanStaalduinen. He moved to third on a pickoff attempt, but was stranded there. Jamesville extended its lead in the top of the sixth. Bath had multiple opportunities to get out of the inning, but three errors and another dropped third strike helped let two runs in.

The game was relatively in reach until Luke Taylor drilled a three-RBI double that gave Jamesville a 13-6 lead halfway through the fifth. Bath squeaked out three more runs with its last six outs, but it wasn’t enough.

Bath put together a strong showing throughout the tournament, which started on Thursday. It appeared the long days of playing in the hot sun had caught up with their all stars, marking the end of their summer.