Connie Mack City Tournament: Shorthanded Demons eliminate 4CB with 12-2 win
FARMINGTON — With their summer on the line in Tuesday's elimination game, the Demons bounced back from Monday's 4-0 loss to the Sting and didn't even need nine starters to do it.
Demons leadoff hitter Mark Lamoreaux was ejected in the bottom of the first inning for what the home plate umpire determined to be an illegal composite bat. Still, the Demon hitters were on fire Tuesday, and they pulled off a lopsided 12-2 win in five innings over 4CB at the Farmington Sports Complex.
Having lost twice, 4CB has been eliminated from the Connie Mack City Tournament.
"We were told we weren't supposed to have those composite bats," Demons coach Eric Baker said. "I thought I made my point clear that our bats have to be all wood, but evidently I didn't make it clear enough."
Lamoreaux was not replaced on offense or in the field, and his spot in the lineup was deemed an automatic out every time it came around. The Demons offense didn't seem to suffer much, however.
Following the ejection, the Demons put six consecutive hitters on base. A couple of boys reached on errors, and Max Hyson came through with an early RBI double to get the Demons on the board.
4CB starting pitcher Kyle Thompson then walked two straight, including one with the bases loaded to score a run. He was then pulled from the game by head coach Shawn Mike.
"Errors doomed us," Mike said. "Routine fly balls were dropped. Routine grounders were missed again. When your defense is not making plays behind you, as a pitcher, you lose confidence. And that's exactly what happened with Kyle.
Jimothy Lee relieved Thompson, but didn't fare much better. He threw a wild pitch to score a run upon entering the game and gave up an RBI single to Andrew Selser. The Demons came out of the first with a 5-0 lead.
"I think the kids came out swinging a little better than yesterday," Baker said. "We came out swinging the bat, and, you know, sometimes you hit the ball right at them, and sometimes you find the holes. In that first inning, we found the holes."
Nate Angulo had a nice day at the plate for the Demons. He drove in three runs, all in different innings. The Demons had a big, four-run fourth inning and went on to cruise to the 12-2 victory.
At the plate, 4CB loaded the bases two different times but couldn't take advantage of the Demons' two-man outfield.
"We have struggled all summer to hit the ball and to hit into the outfield," Mike said. "Yesterday, I told the kids to take pitches and go with the small ball approach, and today, I gave them the green light. We just couldn't get much going."
Mike said he told his kids to keep their heads up after the loss.
"I told the guys to go pursue their education — most of them are college-bound — and to finish their goal, whatever that may be," he said. "Some have reached their age limit for Connie Mack, some haven't, but I encouraged all of them to come back and help teach the younger Braves players in the future."
The Demons stay alive with the win and will now play the 14ers at 5:30 p.m. today at Ricketts Park.
14ers edge Bloomfield 2-1 in pitcher's dual
Runs were hard to come by on Tuesday night when Brody McGhehey and Kenyon Lusk hit the mound in an elimination game. Unfortunately for Lusk, his defense blinked before he did.
Bloomfield's Lusk and the 14ers' McGhehey were remarkable on the mound. In the sixth inning, a costly error led to a tie breaking RBI single off the bat of none other than McGhehey. The 14ers went on to win the game 2-1 at the Farmington Sports Complex, eliminating Bloomfield from the city tournament.
Mired in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth inning, the 14ers were assisted by Bloomfield third baseman Orlando Frias in loading the bases when he sent a throw soaring over the first baseman's head. A couple of batters later, McGhehey capitalized with an RBI single.
"Pitchers don't usually hit, but with two strikes, I was just trying to make contact," McGhehey said. "I just wanted to put it in play."
Lusk finally wore down that inning, hitting Justin Lotz with the bases reloaded to make it 2-0 14ers. Still Lusk pitched brilliantly, striking out seven batters on the night.
McGhehey struck out eight in the complete game win.
The 14ers advance to play the Demons at 5:30 p.m. today at Ricketts Park in another do-or-die contest.