By Will Harrigan
While the team had enjoyed their share of success, the summer and fall seasons for the Bell Ringers 13U squad have had certain levels of frustration.
They have had five appearances in a tournament championship game, but nothing to show for it.
Until Sunday that is.
A seven-run fourth inning explosion proved to be all the boys from Newtown Square, PA, needed, as the Bell Ringers ran away with a 9-4 victory over NRBA Baseball to win the 13U Fall Brawl championship at Diamond Nation.
The Bell Ringers went a perfect 4-0 in the eight-team field and outscored their competition by a 33-16 margin over the weekend. Chris Hayduk took home MVP honors for the champions.
“We’ve had a really good year, but we’ve had our heartbroken in the finals way more than we wanted to,” said Bell Ringers coach Joe Ravert. “To get one in our second to last tournament of the fall — and year — is really nice for our kids.”
The decisive rally began with the Bell Ringers down 4-1 with one out in the fourth, when Owen Murphy doubled to get things going. Griffin Sonier would then put runners at the corners, setting up a two-run single off the bat of Hayduk.
Following a single by Kevin Agger, a fielding error on a ball hit by Brennan McKenzie cost NRBA two more runs, giving the Bell Ringers a 5-4 lead.
With things snowballing for NRBA, Alex Winn and Cam Cacciola would each walk with the bases loaded to bring home runs, and the Ringers led 8-4 when it was all said and done.
“We have a resilient team, and after we fell behind 4-1 because we kicked the ball around a bit, I think that kind of showed,” Ravert said. “A few guys had big hits for us, we had good approaches at the plate, and that’s how we got seven that inning.”
Jack Brown — who pitched five innings and gave up only one earned run for the winners — was struck by a pitch with the bases loaded to score the game’s final run in the sixth.
Thanks in large part to a pair of fielding errors, NRBA was able to push across four runs in the third. One big hit by the Central Jersey club came off the bat of Chris Smith, who tripled in a run during the rally. Andrew Hildebrand also singled in a run in the frame.
Brown would score the game’s first run back in the first, following a walk, wild pitch and error that made it 1-0.