Bay City, MI:
South jumped out to the early lead when center fielder Tyler Essex led off the game with a single and turned on the jets to steal second base before scoring on an RBI-single off the bat of third baseman Nathaniel Wenzell for a 1-0 STSLL lead midway through the first inning.
North answered with a 10-run rally in the bottom half of the inning, which began when NSTLL center fielder Connor Inman singled, quickly stole second then scored on a pair of wild pitches to tie the game at 1-run apiece, while NSTLL pitcher Jack Thompson drove in catcher John Carlson with a big triple to right field for a 2-1 lead with just 1-out.
Following a walk to North SS Derik Binder, Thompson continued the first inning rally, scoring on a sac fly RBI off the bat of NSTLL first baseman Charlie Groya for a 3-1 lead, while Binder managed to score after North third baseman Connor Greif reached on an error to make it a 4-1 game with 2-outs.
A pair of walks to NSTLL No. 8 and 9 hitters (Camden Douglas and Kaleb Michael) respectively would load the bases for North, as Inman drove in 2-more runs with another single in his second at bat of the first inning then scoring himself, before Thompson cleared the bases with a 3-RBI double to take a 10-1 lead and put the cap on a big first inning for NSTLL.
STSLL right-hand pitcher Collin Kiczenski started on the bump for South, giving up 3-earned runs on 3-hits and 3-walks through 2/3 of an inning, before being relieved by fellow RHP Dominic Bloedel, who went on to give up 4-earned runs on 8-hits and 1-walk throughout the final 4 1/3 innings.
South added a run in the top of the fourth when catcher Ed Morford reached on a 2-out single, moved to second on another single by Bloedel then scored when Logan Smith reached on an error to cut the NSTLL lead to 10-2 midway through four innings, however, North would go on to plate 2-more runs in the bottom of the fifth, activating the LLWS 10-run differential rule
for the 12-2 victory.
Thompson, a RHP who started on the mound for North, gave up 1-earned run on 2-hits and 1-walk, with 4-strikeouts through 2-innings, before being relieved by Groya (3-Ks), Binder (1-K), and Greif, who combined to allow just 2-hits with 4-strikeouts (1-inning each) through the final 3-innings.
The two remaining undefeated teams in this double elimination district qualifier- Swan Valley (1-0)
and tourney host Bay City Southwest (2-0)
will meet in the first semi-final right back here tomorrow at 5 pm, while NSTLL (1-1) advances to take on Bay City Northwest LL (2-1)
in the other (elimination) semi-final (between two 1-loss teams) immediately following at 7 pm tomorrow night.
Video highlights of STSLL 1st baseman Elijah Smith's 2 run Home Run and STSLL CF Tyler Essex' RBI single vs Bay City Southwest Tue: