Times Sports Editor
The Clay Youth League 10-year old baseball team was tantalizingly close to a berth in the championship game against Newburgh on Tuesday evening. One strike away in fact, but Riley came off the deck to tie the game in the top half of the sixth inning and then exploded for nine runs in extra innings for a 16-7 victory to take a spot in the title tilt.
The CYL overcame a 6-5 deficit in the bottom of the fourth inning getting a lead off double by Austin Stevenson and a run scoring sacrifice fly from Mitch Williams to knot the score. The go-ahead run came in after Jayden Lindsay doubled and came around to score when the throw got away on an error.
Leading 7-6 heading into Riley's final at-bat regulation, the CYL got a strikeout of Kody Moshak and a lineout from Grant Dennany.
Luke Lancaster, in relief of Stevenson, got the first two strikes on Frederich before he sent a grounder to shortstop, the throw to first sailed wide of the play and allowed Riley a second chance.
Cory Keller came in to pinch-run and then came around to score when Nick Barrett shot a single through the infield to tie the game at 7-all. Lancaster eventually got a strikeout of Ethan Hunter to end the inning.
Matt Clawson came to the plate and nearly proved to be the hero when his sharp grounder went to Riley's Blake Speth. But a strong throw to the plate got Lindsay at the plate and Tony Smodilla got Dylan Hyatt to flyout to send the game into extra innings.
Riley exploded in the seventh inning, sending the first seven batters to the plate before the CYL was able to record an out. Riley went on to record nine runs in the inning on seven hits and a couple of errors to put away a valiant effort by the Clay County 10's.
"This is not the first game that we came back in," Clay Youth League coach Shane Glassburn mentioned as his team rallied from a 3-0 first inning debit against Riley and a 4-0 deficit against Mooresville in Monday's opener. "There's no give-up in this team."
Riley advances to face Newburgh on Tuesday night and must beat them twice to advance to the Cal Ripken State Finals game against the Southeast State champion.
In order to advance to the game against Riley, the CYL took down Mooresville in a thrilling, 10-9 battle in Monday's first game.
The Mooresville squad did some offensive damage against Lancaster in the opening frame, getting an RBI double by Zeke O'Dell, an RBI groundout from Kuintont Schmidt and a solo homerun from Dallas Jenkins.
The CYL did plenty of work at the plate as well, scoring in each of its five innings at the plate.
Stevenson opened the game with a double and came around to score on an error on a hit by Brigham Booe.
In the second inning, the CYL added two more runs as Dylan Hyatt smacked a grounder that bounced off Mooresville's second baseman. Lancaster followed with a single to left centerfield before Austin Cook drew a walk to load the bases. Jase Glassburn followed with a one-out RBI single to bring home Hyatt. Mitch Williams followed by bringing Lancaster home with a walk to narrow the Mooresville lead to 4-3.
The CYL continued to add runs starting with three runs in the third as Clawson, Hyatt and Lancaster loaded the bases via walk. Cook then lined a run scoring single before Stevenson ripped an RBI double. Glassburn drove home the third run with a groundout to give the CYL a 6-5 lead.
Mooresville added two runs in the fourth inning to take a 7-6 lead before the CYL tied the score in the bottom half on an RBI single from Clawson.
The CYL scored the eventual winning runs in the fifth as Cook singled and Stevenson added his third double of the game. Glassburn brought home the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly. Lindsay then doubled home two runs to give the CYL the lead it needed in a 10-9 victory.