Brody Dull launched a two-run home run, delivered the decisive run with a single in the fifth and pitched 5.1 innings of two-hit relief as Flood City Elite defeated the WC Dragons, 10-9, to secure the 12U Memorial Day Blast championship.
Dull singled home Chase Link from second with the go-ahead run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, then retired the Dragons in order in the top of the sixth to close out an outstanding relief performance.
“We brought Brody in relief early and he had a gutsy performance,” said Flood City Elite coach Jim McGough. “He pitched great, hit the home run, got the game winning hit and closed it out for us. What else can you say?”
Not much needed to be said. Dull limited an impressive Dragons lineup to four runs on just two hits over the final 5.1 innings. He struck out five, walked two and hit a batter. He entered with two outs in the first inning after Tyler Homick’s three-run double staked the Dragons to a 5-0 advantage. Dull got a strikeout looking to end the inning and strand Homick at third.
Dull stayed strong from there, peppering the zone with strikes and challenging the Dragons hitters.
The deep and dangerous Flood City lineup got themselves right back in the game with a run in the first and four runs in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 5-5.
Cole Yoder (3-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 runs) singled with one out in the first and eventually came around on an infield error to give Flood City its first run. Then the club from Johnstown, Pa. mashed five hits in the second, including a two-run bomb by Dull to left-center field that got the rally started. Yoder had an RBI single in the rally and Bobby Smithnosky brought a run home with an infield single. Ty McGough, Flood City’s leadoff hitter, also singled in the middle of the rally.
“It was like that all tournament for us,” said coach McGough. “We had a good approach at the plate.”
Smithnosky was named the 12U tournament’s Most Valuable Player after ripping five home runs and picking up a win and a save on the mound.
But, despite Dull’s efforts on the mound and he and his teammates’ prodigious bats, the Dragons kept coming. Dull plunked Derek Rozzi with a pitch to start the third and Matthew Pitz singled to put the Dragons in business. Rozzi would score on a fielder’s choice grounder and Pitz came home on a wild pitch to put the Dragons back in front, 7-5. Dull minimized the damage, though, by getting three straight outs after the first two batters reached.
Link uncorked a solo blast with one out in the bottom of the third to draw Flood City back to within a run at 7-6. That was Link’s fourth homer of the weekend and it went to straightaway center field. It was gone off the bat.
Flood City made some two-out magic in the fourth. Nathan Phillips, the No. 11 hitter, drew what proved to be a very big two-out walk. Three wild pitches with McGough at the plate brought Phillips around with the tying run. McGough then reached on a walk, as well, to bring up Yoder, who was as hot as any batter on a very hot Flood City team.
Yoder had gotten the start in the game but had trouble harnessing a very hard fastball, forcing coach McGough to go to Dull. He certainly did his share in erasing the team’s bad thoughts from that first inning with his performance at the plate. And he capped it in the fourth with a long two-run home run high into the trees in left-center field to give Flood City a 9-7 lead.
Dull was cruising, but the relentless WC Dragons lineup wasn’t about to capitulate. They got an important one out walk from their No. 11 hitter, Tanner Ruhland, in the top of the fifth. Leadoff batter Aidan Capobianco then made Flood City pay, scorching a hard lined drive over the fence in left for a two-run home run that tied it back up at 9-9. It was the first hit Dull had allowed since the third inning.
Link singled through the left side with one out in the bottom of the fifth and moved to second on a fielder’s choice grounder by Caleb Detrick (1-for-2, walk, run). Dull then stepped in and took care of business himself, ripping a single through the left side that chased Link home with the go-ahead run.
“We were down five runs, but our team had each other’s back,” said Smithnosky, who certainly backed up his boys himself. The righthander pitched Flood City to a complete game 14-3 victory over the Diamond Jacks Super 12U in the last game of pool play earlier in the day. He also picked up a save in another game. But the bombs he hit were most memorable.
“I’m just trying to hit line drives to center and right-center,” said Smithnosky. “I’m really looking for fastballs to drive.”
Flood City’s effort was complete all around in the final as the team smashed 11 hits and played an error-free game. It scored in every inning.
“We are trying to be defensive minded,” said coach McGough, who has steered his club to two tournament wins and four final round berths this spring.
NOTES: Capobianco triggered the WC Dragons rally in the top of the first with a leadoff double to the wall in left-center. Yoder, showing plenty of heat, nonetheless, walked four batters before Homick’s big double. Yoder was one strike away from getting out the inning unscathed.
… Pitz, the Dragons’ shortstop, made some nice plays on balls hit in the hole and behind second base. … Nine of the 11 batters in the Flood City Elite lineup reached base and seven scored at least one run.
… Flood City Elite (6-0) outscored its opponents 85-22. WC Dragons (4-1-1) held a 61-28 runs advantage on its opponents.
MEMORIAL DAY BLAST RECAPS
NJ HAMMERSNJ Hammers defeated Jersey Shore Elite, 12-9, in the 10U Memorial Day Blast championship game. Logan Travis of NJ Hammers was named the 10U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. NJ Hammers (6-0) outscored its opponents 83-16. Jersey Shore Elite (4-2) held a 76-20 runs advantage on its opponents.
SANDLOT BASEBALL ACADEMY 11U DAVIS
Sandlot Baseball Academy 11U Davis defeated Uncommon 2029 Black, 14-10, in the 11U Memorial Day Blast championship game. Sandlot Baseball Academy (6-0) outscored its opponents 78-22. Uncommon 2029 Black (5-1) held a 43-27 runs advantage on its opponents.
PHILLY BANDITS 14UPhilly Bandits 14U defeated the Diamond Jacks Super 14U, 8-7, in the 14U Memorial Day Blast championship game. Philly Bandits (6-0) outscored its opponents 38-16. The Diamond Jacks (5-1) held a 52-20 runs advantage on their opponents.