Warriors rally past W.B. Armstrong

Published 5:33 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2016


The Warriors watched a 3-2 lead evaporate in the sixth against W.B Armstrong in the Elizabethton National Cal Ripken 9-10 baseball tournament. A late triple by Mason Wilson helped rally the Warriors to a 6-5 win at Larry Brown Field on Tuesday and a spot in the championship game to be played on Thursday.

The Warriors turned three double plays and made just one error in the contest and rallied with four hits in the last of the sixth beginning with Wilson’s three base knock.

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“It’s unheard of at this level,” said Warriors head coach Andy Blevins when asked about the double plays. “It’s something we practice and we work on defense all the time, and at this age level it’s pretty impressive.”

Armstrong opened the game with two runs in the top of the first on a pair of walks and a single by pitcher Brandon Taluski to load the bases. Warriors starter Andrew Barnett walked Hunter Irick to force home a run and one out later he issued another RBI free pass to Reagan Ensor to make it a 2-0 game.

The Warriors wasted a chance to score in the second when Dylon Furr singled to left but was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit. Logan Lewis then ripped a triple to the gap in right centerfield but was left stranded when Taluski struck out the next two hitters.

The Warriors staged a two out rally in the third when Andrew Barnett doubled and scored on a base knock by Drew Blevins to make it a 2-1 game. A walk to Chase Rutledge and a double steal put runners on second and third.

A passed ball tied the game at 2-2 and an RBI single off the bat of Wilson gave the Warriors a 3-2 lead.

“If you look at the stats and how many men we left on base it’s a wonder we were in the game,” Blevins said. “But they made the right plays at the right time and had the baseball IQ to put the ball in the right place at the right time.”

Armstrong opened the sixth with consecutive singles by Joseph Sowards and Matthew Grasty, followed by a two run double by Ensor. An infield ground ball by Isiah Brummitt brought home the third run of the stanza and made it a 5-3 contest.

The winning rally began with Wilson’s hit followed by a single from Furr to plate one run. Lewis then singled to right with Furr scoring all the way from first and Lewis ending up at third on the late throw to the infield.

One out later A.J. Campbell smacked a double to center to bring home the winning run.

“They all played hard,” said Armstrong head coach Bobby Irick. “They all picked it up and where this team is now compared to where we started is a big turnaround. They came together as a whole team.”

Elizabethton National

Cal Ripken League

9-10 tournament semifinal

Warriors 6-5

W.B.Armstrong 200 003 – 5 6 0

Warriors 003 003 – 6 10 1

W – Rutledge L – Taluski

DP – W 3. LOB W 5, A 9. 3B – Wilson, Lewis. 2B – Ensor.