John Ross Bryan beats the tag by Evan Britt Monday at Baird Park / photo by TOMMY BRYAN
Both 12U teams are state bound
Played before a jam-packed audience in the Baird Park Complex after earlier rounds were held in Coopertown, the contest basically decided nothing more than seedings as both LYBA squads will advance to the July 17 state tournament scheduled for Sweetwater.
Leading 5-2, the Nationals saw their American counterparts rally for a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the margin to just 5-4.
Braden Reece worked the top of the six for the Americans, allowing just one hit and striking out a pair.
Luke Bradshaw led off the bottom of the bottom sixth with a line single to center, stole second, then with one out, moved to third with the potential tying run on Kameron Bond’s single.
The game to a quick conclusion as Corey Jones’ bunt attempt was popped up.
Nationals catcher Bryce Miller sprang out in front of the plate to snag the ball for the second out, then whipped a throw to first to double off Bond -- who was running on the pitch.
“This was a heck of a game by two really good teams,” said Nationals manager Kevin Gaines.
Chase Birdwell had a pair of hits for the Nationals while Braxton Swann drove in a pair of runs.
Kolby Gaines went the first three innings for the Nationals to get the pitching decision walking one and striking out two.
Birdwell worked the final three frames, scattering five hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Bradshaw swung a big bat for the Americans with two hits, including a long two-run homer to left-center in the bottom of the first.
Jeremiah Hastings added two hits with an RBI while Bond and Evan Britt each added hits.
Brady Chappell started for the Americans and was tagged with the loss after two innings of work. He was relieved by Mark McDearman (three innings) and Reece.
The Lebanon Nationals rolled through both the Sub-District and District tournaments undefeated at 9-0.
The only two blemishes on the American ledger came at the hands of the Nationals.
Nationals 7, Greenbrier 0
COOPERTOWN -- The Lebanon Nationals reached the District 4 finals with a 7-0 victory Sunday over Greenbrier.
Ryan Jackson went 3-for-3 with a two-run double. Miller had a hit and two runs batted in.
J.D. Usery started and got the decision with three innings of one-hit work. Cade Thomas and Miller pitched in relief.
Americans 7, Coopertown 5
COOPERTOWN -- The Lebanon Americans eliminated host Coopertown Sunday by a score of 7-5 in the finals of the District 4 losers’ bracket.
The Americans built up a 7-0 lead until Coopertown mounted a comeback, scoring all five runs in the sixth.
Bradshaw drove in four runs with a homer and a double while Hastings added a solo homerun in the first inning.
Bradshaw started and got the win for the Americans, going two and 2/3 innings. He struck out five, walked five and allowed just one hit. Evan Brock worked the middle two and 1/3 innings, striking out five and allowing two hits.
McDearman closed out the final inning on the mound, striking out one.