Brownsburg, right ahead!!
Brownsburg, Indiana and Oceanside, California battled it out for first place in Pool A tonight in Williamsport. And was it ever a battle.
In the end, Brownsburg came back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the champs from West, 2-1, and finish pool play with a record of 3-0. Oceanside fell to 2-1.
Trailing 1-0 and heading into the top half of the sixth, Brownsburg was not only facing a deficit, but a no-hitter as well. They took care of both of those problems in no time.
Oceanside’s starting pitcher Taylor DeMille had faced just three batters over the minimum heading into the final frame. He promptly gave up a single to leadoff hitter Jeff King. The next
batter, Kyle Waggoner, reached on a fielder’s choice.
DeMille was then lifted from the mound in favor of Josh Harris. After a foul out to catcher Matthew Cerda, T.J Baumet hit a double to the left-center field gap. Cerda couldn’t handle the relay throw home, allowing Waggoner to score.
And another two batters later, Brody Dowell’s RBI single brought home Baumet, the eventual game-winning run.
“I was just running down the baseline and I heard the crowd cheering,” Dowell said. “And I was just hoping it was for us.”
Brownsburg manager Gary King was pleased with the comeback.
“These guys never quit,” he said.
And the players were a little nervous going into the last inning.
“We were just thinking to get guys on base and to just tie it up and go into extra innings,” Baumet said.
Added second baseman Jeff King: “I was little scared.”
Oceanside manager Daryl Wasano second-guessed himself about leaving in DeMille for the sixth. He thought his hurler could get through the inning.
“Taylor got tired,” Wasano said. “What can I say? I thought he had enough to finish. I was almost going to make the switch, but you always try to give the kid the benefit of the doubt. He did a great job.”
DeMille was back on the mound after missing Oceanside’s first pool play game with a bruised right thumb, and playing third base in the second game.
In the first inning, he struck out leadoff hitter Jeff King. He then hit Kyle Waggoner with a pitch and walked T.J. Baumet. But the right-hander struck out the next two hitters to escape the jam.
He struck out nine and walked two in five innings of work.
“(DeMille) kept us off balance,” King said.
Michael Bradburn, who started for Brownsburg, also did a good job fooling the Oceanside hitters. He gave up just the one run on four hits in five innings of work.
“My team really helped me out,” he said.
Oceanside scored their lone run in the fourth. After a leadoff double by shortstop Johnny Jimenez, Josh Harris singled to right and advanced Jimenez to third. DeMille came to bat and hit a grounder to second baseman Jeff King. King dove to his right to snag the ball and then flipped it to second for the force out. Meanwhile, Jimenez crossed the plate for the game’s first run.
With DeMille on first, Matthew Cerda stepped to the plate with his consecutive on-base streak on the line. He lined a pitch right to third baseman Blake Anderson, and DeMille was doubled off first base.
With a hit in his first at-bat, Cerda was 7-for-7 with a walk in eight plate appearances before that at-bat.
In the sixth, Baumet was called upon to come in and close the door. Thomas Eukovich led off the home half of the inning with a shot right back at Baumet. The right-hander stuck his glove in the air and managed to catch it. He got the final two outs to record the save.
“I don’t even know how I caught it,” Baumet said. “It was more like self defense.”
And defense was the name of the game tonight. Both teams played solidly in the field, and that trait can only help as both teams head into the semifinal round. Brownsburg will play the second-place team from Pool B, while Oceanside will take on the first-place squad.
“We’re just going to do what got us here,” Wasano said. “We’ll come back and we won’t change a thing. (The coaching staff) will keep it fun for them. The kids are ready.”
- Mark Rogoff