The 14U Virginia Squires baseball team capped off a strong weekend at the Cal Ripken Halloween at the Beach Tournament by defeating the Carolina Prospects 11-4 to win the consolation bracket championship.
The 11U Squires fell to the Dirt Devils from North Carolina 9-3 in the consolation bracket semifinals in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to end their weekend. The Squires had defeated the Beastmode Grinders 5-4 in the first game of bracket play, but ultimately fell one game short of the championship game.
The 14U Squires got five strong innings on the mounds from Eli Seamster who gave up four runs on four hits and struck out four batters. Paul Irby came on to pitch the final two innings and gave up only one hit and no runs while striking out one batter.
The Carolina Prospects got off to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first after two walks and an error loaded the bases with no outs. A fielders choice and a single scored two runs before Seamster settled down and was able to get out of the inning with minimal damage.
In the bottom of the second inning, Lucas Newton led off the game with a walk, followed by an Aaron Crutchfield single. Logan Smith walked to load the bases. At the next at bat, Newton scored on a passed ball and Will Testerman reached base on an error that scored Aaron Crutchfield to tie the game.
Seamster got the Prospects to go 1-2-3 in the second with a fly out, ground out and strike out. The Squires exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second in large part to a Mason Lovern inside-the-park grand slam home run.
Connor Crutchfield started the inning off with a single followed by a Colin Kennedy walk. Nathan Centers followed with a single and Newton grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Colin Mabe who was running for Connor Crutchfield to take a 3-2 lead.
Aaron Crutchfield singled which loaded the bases for Lovern. On a 1-2 pitch Lovern drove a ball into right field for an inside the park home run that opened up the Squires lead to 7-2.
The Prospects got one run back in the third on an error to make the score 7-3, but the Squires got the run back in the fourth when Aaron Crutchfield singled to score Jackson Hardy. Another error by the Squires scored a Prospects run in the fifth to cut the lead to 8-4, but that would be all that the Prospects could do in the game.
The Squires scored three more runs in the sixth inning. Irby walked, Mabe singled and Kennedy singled to score Irby to score their ninth run of the game. Newton then singled to right field to score Mabe and Kennedy for the last two runs for the Squires.
Irby got a strikeout and two groundouts in the seventh inning to finish off the Prospects and the Squires claimed the consolation championship game 11-4.
The Squires finished the weekend with a 3-1 record with their only loss of the tournament coming to the Ohio Spiders who went undefeated and won the championship bracket.