For the first time in 11 years, Hartville takes home their host tournament championship, as the Eagles shutout Gainesville in five innings, 10-0.
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The Eagles controlled the game offensively from the first pitch, knocking in five runs in the first two innings on six hits.
After gaining an additional run in the third inning to lead 6-0, Hartville’s Matt Keith jumpstarted the fourth with a leadoff double, which was followed by a single off the bat of A.J. Buford. Designated Hitter, Drew Ince, then doubled to leftfield, scoring both Buford and Keith. Tyler Collison sacrificed in the ninth run of the game after flying out to deep center.
Hartville would go on to plate their 10th Eagle run to mercy rule the Gainesville Bulldogs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“We wanted to jump on these guys early on and grab the lead, maintain it and continue to keep putting pressure on the opposing team,” said Garrison. “Having a pitcher throws strikes and get productive outs is all we try to do.”
William Jemes, Hartville’s no. 3 in the pitching rotation, did just that in his Saturday afternoon title game pitching performance, as he struck out three and allowed only four hits and one walk through five innings.
“All I focused on was getting ahead and catching batters off balance. I’m very satisfied with my outing today, as well as my offense backing me up,” said Jemes. “I’m just glad we were able to give coach his first championship at our own tournament.”
Hartville finished undefeated in their tournament, allowing only one run in the entire weekend after defeating district opponent Cabool on Friday, 4-1.
Cabool topped Laquey for bronze
Cabool concluded the Hartville Tournament with a win 6-4 win over Laquey, securing a third place finish for the Bulldogs.
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“We came out the first game and fell flat a little bit, so it was nice to pick up a win in the remaining two games of the tournament,” said Cabool head coach Richie Jester. “Our bats were a little cold in the first game, along with a few defensive mishaps. We just had an off game.”
Laquey was knocking on the door in the top of the fourth inning, chipping away at Cabool’s lead after knocking in two Hornets to come within one run, 5-4.
In the bottom half of the fourth, sophomore Broderick Davis retaliated after crushing a solo homerun over right-center to solidify Cabool’s victory by a margin of two runs.