Washington 8U scores eight runs in final two innings to seal victory

Published 2:39 pm Saturday, July 14, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Washington 8U machine pitch All-Star baseball team got off to a hot start on Thursday night, scoring five runs in the first two innings, yet still found itself trailing the Currituck All-Stars. But Washington stayed persistent, as an offensive surge in the game’s final two innings led the Washington All-Stars to a 16-10 win and a spot in the next round of the Tar Heel League District Tournament.

The game couldn’t have started any smoother for Washington, scoring four runs in the top of the first. Brandon Granadero was responsible for the first run, blasting an RBI-triple that brought Logan Blank home. Creek Hall immediately followed by ripping a single up the middle that scored Granadero.

Washington’s final two runs of the inning came courtesy of Brennon Warren, who knocked a base hit up the middle of the defense to drive Hall home. Warren displayed some alert base running on the play, as he took advantage of a cut-off throw from the outfield that missed its mark to reach home to score as well.

Showing they’re no pushovers, the Currituck All-Stars had an immediate response. Currituck racked up several base hits in the bottom of the first, with Kayden Smith and Jonathon Weaver picking up an RBI each. Currituck had a chance to tie the game, but ended up stranding runners on second and third.

Washington tacked on another run in the second, making the score 5-2 as Currituck came back up to the plate. This time it was Currituck’s turn to put four more runs on the scoreboard. Ricky Skinner kicked off the scoring, hitting a two-run, inside-the-park home run. After Ryan Parker reached base, Barrett Kreuger drove him home with a double. Peyton Smith completed the scoring with a single that scored Kreuger.

Now trailing after such a strong start, the Washington All-Stars didn’t drop their heads. The combination of timely hitting and solid defense through the third and fourth innings ensured Washington held an 8-6 lead heading into the game’s final two innings.

In need of some insurance runs, the Washington All-Stars delivered. They scored five runs, the maximum amount allowed per inning in this age group, on six hits in the fifth. Hall led off the scoring extravaganza with a triple to center field. Back-to-back doubles from Wyatt Shipley and Warren followed, giving Washington a four-run lead. Graham Spivey, Blake Arnold and Aubrey Turnage each chipped in with an RBI as well, helping Washington establish a 13-6 lead.

Trailing by seven runs late in the game, Currituck refused to go down lightly. The Currituck All-Stars collected seven hits in the bottom of the fifth to score four runs. Currituck almost scored a fifth to cut Washington’s lead to two runs heading into the final inning, but a great relay throw home enabled Washington to tag out Kayden Smith to end the inning.

Already leading 13-10, Washington entered the sixth inning with the opportunity to end the game by pushing its lead beyond five runs. And that’s exactly what the Washington All-Stars did. Layton Spivey led off the inning hitting the ball past Currituck’s diving shortstop, before sliding under the tag at second for a double.

Consecutive RBI-singles from Blank and Granadero made the score 15-10, meaning Washington was a run away from sealing victory. Shipley did the honors for Washington, hitting a single to drive home Granadero for the game clinching run.

The win propelled Washington to the next round of the double-elimination tournament, where the Washington All-Stars will take on Camden.