Blake Frazier of the West Chester Dragons rounds third base and scores.
By Luis Torres
Gavin Yeager stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with a chance to give his team the lead.
Two of his teammates were on base, and up to that point, it had been a frustrating day at the plate for West Chester Dragons NL. They had hit the ball hard, but it always seemed right at people and resulted in outs.
Yeager had a chance to change that with one swing of his bat with the game tied, and the right-handed hitter did.
Yeager cranked a go-ahead two-run double, sparking what ended up being a four-run frame as West Chester Dragons NL defeated RCBC Ghosts 13U Royals, 6-2, in 13U August Showdown play on Friday at Diamond Nation in Flemington.
“Honestly, I just saw the ball. It was there, and I just drove it,” Yeager said. “It was nice to give us the lead.”
The game was tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning as RCBC Ghosts 13U Royals’ pitching staff kept West Chester Dragons NL’s potent lineup off-balance with off-speed pitches.
West Chester Dragons NL coach John Rozich told his team to make adjustments at the plate. He kept encouraging them as the game continued to be tied in the late innings, knowing that at one point, his team would come through.
It took until the sixth inning, which started with a Christian Hall single to right field. Hall then stole second base with Blake Frazier at the plate. Frazier then hit an infield single, moving Hall to third base.
Gavin Yeager chats with coach John Rozich after doubling and stealing third base in the 6th.
Frazier then stole second base with Yeager at the plate. And then Yeager smoked his double into the gap, scoring Hall and Frazier, giving his team the lead. Rozich said Yeager’s go-ahead hit set the tone for the rest of the game.
“We just wanted to get runners on and move them over,” Yeager said. “It was just one run at a time, pretty much.”
Added Rozich: “We’ve never been out of any game we’ve played in. This time right now doing really well. Any game that’s been tight, we’ve still hung in there and played. That game was a little frustrating the first five innings, for sure. It was cool to see him (Yeager) succeed in that spot, and that’s what we want.”
Yeager eventually came around to score after stealing third base, ending his day 2-for-2 with a run scored, two RBI and three stolen bases.
Hall went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a stolen base, and Frazier went 1-for-2.
Relief pitcher Owen Murphy lit up the radar gun in his one inning of work in the fifth inning. Murphy, who is still raw as a pitcher, touched 80 miles-per-hour, according to the radar gun at Diamond Nation. But he ran into trouble, walking three RCBC Ghosts hitters. He was able to escape the jam unscathed, however, keeping the game tied at two at that point.
That set the stage for Yeager in the bottom of the sixth as he gave his team the lead and eventually the win.
“We talk about making adjustments all the time, and in this game you have to,” Rozich said. “That was the first we’ve seen a guy throwing that slow, so it was a little bit of an adjustment for these boys. We hung in there, we played defense and we pitched, so it kept us in the game.”