Down by five runs in the bottom of the third inning of what turned out to be the final game of the Davis Little League Majors National League bracket, things didn’t look good for the Reds on Monday.
But, thanks to seven walks and three hits in that third inning, the Reds came back to take a two-run lead and didn’t look back, topping the Braves, 11-6, to punch their ticket to Saturday’s City Championship. The Reds will face the winner of a Thursday AL title game between the Yankees and the A’s.
“We had patient at-bats and really timely hitting,” Reds’ manager Colin Anderson said about the comeback. “We got some walks at different times and got some really timely hitting that pushed us over the edge.”
The game started off quickly for the Braves, who scored three runs in the first inning …
After Joey Asta reached base on a fielder’s choice and advanced on a single by Luke Carrell, Will Fehrenbacher walked to load the bases with just one out.
Then, a pair of costly errors by Reds fielders allowed Asta, Carrell and Cody Taylor to score, giving the Braves — who came from the loser’s bracket and therefore needed to win Monday’s game and a Thursday rematch to make the City Championship — an early advantage.
The Braves then augmented their lead with a single run in each of the next two frames before the Reds finally got going.
Ian Biscardi led off the decisive third inning with a single, which was followed by walks to Zach Anderson, Caden Difuntorum, Kenny “Red Dog” Wanderstadt, Robert Schacherbauer, Josh Davis and Ben Skinner.
Those walks, along with a single from Ethan Lo and a double from Trey Doten, buried the Braves, who wouldn’t score again until the final inning of the game.
“(The key was) batters taking their time and getting (Braves starting pitcher) Kel Williams out of the game,” Anderson explained. “He was really giving us problems in the first three innings. We really were patient running his pitch count up. And then finally we got him out and things started happening for us.”
The Reds would score three additional runs in the fourth and one in the fifth before Lo was brought in to close things out.
Though he allowed one run, he struck out the final two batters of the game, causing his teammates to rush him in youthful exuberance.
“We’ve been trying to get deep in counts and trying to be patient in our at-bats,” Anderson said on his team’s strength all season. “(But) we gotta work on our fielding and sharpen up some of the stuff we’ve got going on, and get a lot of confidence.”
Notes: In addition to sealing the game on the mound, Lo was 2-for-2 with a walk. Difuntorum earned free passes in each of his three plate appearances. … Carrell led the Braves with a single and a double, while Fehrenbacher reached three times on two walks and a single.
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