Justin Jennings of Show New England gets ready to barrel one up in Super 15 Invitational.
By Luis Torres
The stage was set for Sports Zone 15U Black with two runners on and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The game was tied, with Sports Zone 15U Black and Show New England 15U Showcase countering each other with momentum swings during the contest.
But this was the chance for Sports Zone 15U Black to end it in dramatic fashion with a walk-off. However, in a game that had momentum swings both ways, it was fitting it ended in a tie.
Show New England 15U and Sports Zone 15U played to a 4-4 tie in Super 15 Invitational play on Thursday at Diamond Nation in Flemington.
Justin Jennings went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a two-run home run for Show New England. Sports Zone starting pitcher Miles McBride battled through some bad luck to spin five innings, striking out seven and scattering six hits.
McBride fought through an early deficit, with Show New England opening the scoring in the first inning. In the third frame, Jennings turned on an inside pitch, blasting a two-run home run to left field, giving Show New England a 3-0 lead.
“It was huge for us,” Show New England coach Justin Powers said. “It gave us a little jolt of energy. Sometimes, day four of a tournament you’re down a little bit, and one swing brings a little energy, and he did a great job with that.”
But after that, McBride was money, giving his team a chance to win.
“He attacked the strike zone, unfortunately, defensively, we really didn’t help him,” Sports Zone 15U Black coach Butch Alberts said. “We came back and tied the game, so I’m glad with the effort that they didn’t quit on us. They are not gonna quit. We just have to find a way to win the ball game. I believe in these young men, and they are good ball players. And we’re going to find a way, and we’re going to be successful down the road.”
Miles McBride of Sports Zone 15U Black delivers a pitch with a runner on first in Super 15 Invitational.
McBride’s teammates picked him up in the bottom of the third inning after he surrendered the blast to Jennings.
Colton Keller, the No. 13 hitter in the lineup, cleared the bases when he smacked a three-run double to left field that took a bounce off the turf and went to the wall. The hit gave Sports Zone a 4-3 lead, swinging the momentum back in its favor.
The momentum swing lasted until the fifth inning when Jennings came through once again for Show New England.
On a 1-1 count, Jennings hit a game-tying single to left field. It ended up being the final run of the game.
“I’m glad we battled back after having a little turf ball get away from us and let them score,” Powers said. “I thought overall, our pitchers did a decent job of battling.”