|Oceanside Carrolling in Williamsport
David Carrol, Oceanside’s starting third baseman, left the game in the fourth inning so substitute Chris Scheunemann could come in and play some first base.
But Carrol was not out of the game for good.
He re-entered as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, and the stage was perfectly set. With two on and two out in a tied ball game, Carrol drove the first pitch he saw over the fence in right-center field and won the game for his Oceanside team. Final score: Oceanside 5, Lousiana 2.
“It felt good to win the game,” he said. “It was exciting. I had always dreamed of doint that and it was exciting to actually live my dream. I knew I had to hit the ball hard and make something happen.”
The walk-off home run capped the comeback.
Oceanside had trailed Lousiana 2-1 going into the bottom half of the fifth inning, but Thomas Eukovich’s RBI single tied the game at 2-2. Then in the sixth, the heroics occurred.
“We’ve been behind before,” said catcher Matthew Cerda. “Whenever we get behind we get mad and just hit the ball.”
Added starting pitcher Johnny Jimenez: “Even though we struggled with the bat, I knew we could come back and do it.”
Jimenez pitched five strong innings and his lone mistake came on Ty Todd’s two-run homer in the second inning. In fact, that was the only hit he allowed. He seemed to get even stronger as the game went on.
“The fans got louder and I got more pumped up,” he said. “The rest helped me a little bit, too.”
Taylor DeMille, who pitched a scoreless sixth to keep the game tied, was back in action Sunday after missing Friday’s game with a bruised right thumb. He started at third base and got Oceanside on the board first with an RBI double in the bottom half of the opening frame.
He finished with two hits and showed no signs of weakness to his sore right thumb.
“He’s definitely an asset to the team,” said manager Daryl Wasano. “He’s a good player and it’s great to have him back in the lineup.”
Another player that Wasano is glad to have in the lineup is Cerda. Including a 3-for-3 performance today, the catcher is now 6-for-6 with a walk in the tournament.
“I’m focusing,” he said, “I just try to go with the pitch.”
Oceanside next faces Brownsburg, Indiana in a battle of unbeatens. The game at 7 p.m. EDT at Lamade Stadium will decide which team finishes first in Pool A play.
“I think it’s going to be a heck of a ballgame ,” Wasano said. “I’m very impressed with that team.”
Lousiana falls to 0-2 and will square off against New England in Monday’s other Pool A match-up.
“(The kids) were extremely disappointed,” said manager Ben Mount. “This was like the kiss of death. We’ve been in both our games. You just have to have a good team and you have to have some luck. We just didn’t have it today. (Oceanside) is a good hitting team. They put the ball in play.”
- Mark Rogoff