TAL­BOT

Record Observer - - Sports -

bot a lead­off base run­ner in each of the first five in­nings. Bentz walked, and a pitch from re­liever hit Christo­pher, load­ing the bases with no outs.

Ja­cob Book’s sin­gle to left scored Latham to cut the Elk­ton lead to 5-3, and kept the bases loaded.

The lack of outs ac­tu­ally hurt Tal­bot on the next bat­ted ball, a deep drive by Echter­nach sail­ing over the head of Crow­ley, and one­hop­ping to the fence in left­cen­ter field.

With no outs, all three Tal­bot run­ners held un­til the ball nearly hit the ground. While Bentz scored eas­ily from just 90 feet away, Christo­pher, run­ning at sec­ond, couldn’t re­turn there, since Book, be­hind him, was forced out.

While Crow­ley’s throw went through the cut­off man to the plate, too late to get Bentz, Elk­ton catcher Austin Goudeaux fired to his twin brother An­drew, the 8-2-5 putout at third re­tir­ing Christo­pher by force rule for the first out.

Iron­i­cally, had there been two outs, all three Tal­bot run­ners would likely have bolted on con­tact, Christo­pher prob­a­bly scor­ing from sec­ond on what may well have have been a three-run dou­ble in that sit­u­a­tion, but was in re­al­ity a fielder’s choice good for one RBI.

Book even­tu­ally scored, ty­ing the game on a dou­ble by Trent Weems.

Elk­ton took the lead again in the fourth. An­drew Simp­son’s one-out nub­ber half­way up the third base line rolled too fast for re­liever re­liever Cas­sell to catch, but too slowly for third base­man Bail­lif to field in time to throw to first for an out. An er­rant pick­off throw put Simp­son at sec­ond, who then stole third, and came home a mo­ment later on a passed ball.

In the bot­tom of the four th, the strong-armed, bearded Bail­lif got Tal­bot’s of fense go­ing, lac­ing a dou­ble to left field.

“I knew when I got that hit, that there were a lot of good bats be­hind me,” Bail­lif said. “And I just knew that, one way or the other, we’d get that run in. I just knew that it would hap­pen.”

Bail­lif was proven right. With one out, Bentz walked, and an out later, so did Book, load­ing the bases again for the District 6 champs.

Echter­nach then drew a pass, forc­ing in Bail­lif to tie the game. Simp­son took over on the hill, and walked nine-hole hit­ter Haiden Rhodes, plat­ing Bentz and giv­ing Tal­bot its first lead of the night at 7-6.

Weems, who had been with his fam­ily in Vir­ginia Beach, Va., on a va­ca­tion through Satur­day, strode to the plate next, and was promptly hit by a pitch for the third time on the day, driv­ing Book home with an in­surance run.

Reliev­ers Echter­nach, who came on with two out in the fifth to re­place even­tual win­ning pitcher Bentz, re­tired four of the five hit­ters he faced. Bail­lif, on to get the save, seemed well on his way, get­ting An­drew Goudeaxu to line out to right and punch­ing out Austin Far­rall.

“It looked like I had it, but then it got a lit­tle messy,” Bail­lif said. “Hit a guy, a walk, and they loaded the bases.”

Be­tween the hit bat­ter (Crow­ley) and the base on balls (to Tyler Uhde), Aus­ton Goudeaux’s tap­per back to Bail­lif was bob­bled, putting the District 6 champs in a last-in­ning pickle.

But Bail­lif got some help from his de­fense, An­drew Lor­man ground­ing into a fielder’s choice at third base for the game’s fi­nal out.

“I think we played good de­fense on the day, and that’s been re­ally im­por­tant for us,” Pritch­ett said. “I think we had only maybe one er­ror all day. And with all the walks, the kids hit by pitches, a lot of er­rors would have just killed us.

“So it was good to see the guys play good de­fense,” Pritch­ett said. “It’s some­thing they’ve been do­ing a lot this year.”

De­spite drop­ping into the elim­i­na­tion bracket, Bill Lor­man was still hope­ful of his team’s chances.

“Your pitch­ing plans pretty much go out the win­dow when you lose in a dou­blee­l­im­i­na­tion tour­na­ment,” the Elk­ton man­ager said. “My at­ti­tude is al­ways, ‘Win To­day,’ but it’s so hard try­ing to do that, to think ahead to the next game, the next day.

“We’re go­ing to keep fight­ing; the loser’s bracket is tough but not im­pos­si­ble,” Bill Lor­man added, al­lud­ing to his team’s run through the loser’s bracket in 2015 — when Tal­bot beat them in the first round, and Elk­ton then won six straight games to take the state ti­tle. “I think we’ve still got a shot.”

District 5’s champs kept bat­tling Sun­day after­noon in the five-day tour­na­ment, win­ning 5-4 in their first elim­i­na­tion game and knock­ing District 7 champ St. Mary’s out.

An­drew Lor­man got the win in Elk­ton’s sec­ond game, the team im­prov­ing to 5-1, 2-1. The right-handed starter went six in­nings, yield­ing two runs in the win. Jeremy Mullins’s two-run sin­gle gave the D5 champs the lead for good, and Gavin Tereszcuk got the save.

Elk­ton takes on District 1 champ and tour­na­ment host Mau­gansville to­day at 6 p.m. in an­other elim­i­na­tion game; the win­ner plays Tues­day night against the loser of Tal­bot’s game against Ber­lin. Tues­day’s win­ner takes on the win bracket champ at 6 p.m. Wed­nes­day, and must win twice that night to take the crown and reach the Se­nior East­ern Re­gional, which be­gins July 20 in Tho­ro­fare, N.J. Fol­low me on Twit­ter:

@sd­bay­sidesports.

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