American Legion League
By Brad Greer
Corinzo Towns scored from second base on a throwing error in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Royals a thrilling 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Red Sox in the championship game of the 13-15 year-old American Legion post-season tournament Monday night.
The Royals, who also won the regular season championship, trailed 4-2 with one out in the sixth before mounting the dramatic comeback. After Taylor Karr flied out to begin the inning, Ethan Waldrip walked on four straight pitches and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Lakedrick Flowers coaxed a full count walk off Red Sox reliever Blake Snyder then proceeded to steal second and third base before scoring the tying run on another wild pitch by Snyder.
Towns followed with yet another walk before stealing second base. Then with a 1-0 count on J.J. Kilpatrick, Towns stole third and then raced home with the winning run as the ball skipped past the Red Sox third baseman and into left field.
Waldrip went the full six innings to pick up the pitching victory. The right-hander gave up four runs on five hits while striking out nine and walking six. Snyder meanwhile took the loss in relief of starting pitcher Renic Greenlee. Snyder gave up four runs despite giving up no hits but issued six walks in 2.1 innings of work. Greenlee surrendered one run on two hits while fanning three and walking four in three innings.
The Red Sox, who downed the A’s 9-7 earlier in the day to get to the championship game, took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Calvin Hawkins led off the game with a walk followed by Greenlee’s single. Waldrip then walked Chance Whitten to load the bases before Snyder’s infield single drove in Hawkins for the first run. Two batters later, Bryan Byford slapped a single to left that scored Greenlee and Whitten.
The Royals began to chip away at the lead as Kilpatrick led off the bottom of the third with a walk and later scored on Hunter Ivy’s two-out infield single that dropped between shortstop and pitchers’ mound.
The Sox looked to blow the game open in the fourth by loading the bases with two outs, but Waldrip escaped the damage by getting Erick Booker looking at a called third strike to end the inning. The Royals then loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half of the frame only to have Snyder wiggle out of trouble with a strike out and groundout to second.
The Red Sox added another run in the fifth on back-to-back singles by Greenlee and Snyder. The Royals answered with a run of their own in the fifth as Lane Massey reached on an error and later scored on a wild pitch.
Snyder and Greenlee had two hits each to pace the Red Sox at the plate. Sergio Alvarado and Byford followed with singles. Tevis Flowers recorded the only other hit for the Royals with a second-inning single.
Whitten and Snyder drove in two runs each in the Red Sox victory over the A’s. Hawkins added a single and scored two runs while Byford registered two singles. Jake Rodgers, Greenlee, James Wilder, Booker and Alvarado all had singles in the win. Wilder picked up the win on the mound while Greenlee came on in the sixth to get the final two outs of the game.
Blake Darby led the A’s offensively with three singles and two runs scored. Jesse Pearson added a double while Deon Mix, Scotty Daughtery and Andy Linder each singled.