enough for Arizona
By David Graham-Caso
batters came to the plate for Chandler, Arizona in the top of the
third inning against Richmond, Texas. The offensive outburst was good
for seven runs on five hits in a pivotal inning during the West
Champion’s 10-4 rout of Richmond.
“We are finally hitting the ball for a
change,” said Chandler manager Eddie Malone. “The bottom of our lineup
is coming through, and we are playing good baseball.”
Both teams entered Sunday’s contest 1-0
and knew that a victory would reserve a spot in Wednesday’s
The Chandler team, which had relied on
superior pitching and defense to qualify for Williamsport, let its
bats do the talking during the afternoon showdown.
starter Garrett Staudt was relieved by Brian Foster after giving up
two runs in two innings. After surrendering a one-out double, Foster
lost his control and walked three straight batters, prompting manager
Jim Michalek to go back to the bullpen. Brady Rodgers assumed the
pitching duties with one out and the bases full. Rodgers got shelled
by the top of the Arizona order, allowing four runs on four hits.
Aaron Hardenburg finally popped out to end the inning. The seven run
inning gave Arizona’s starter Cory Bernard more than enough run
big inning gave us confidence,” Bernard said. “But the coaches kept on
telling us that the game was not over yet.”
Texas battled back in their half of the
fourth. Cody Robinson pulled his team to within five runs with a
screaming three-run homerun to the left-centerfield gallery.
After the three-run fourth inning for
Texas, Bernard became even tougher. The fire-baller, who struck out 21
in his 12 innings of work at the West regional tournament, shut down
the Richmond offense. Bernard scattered four hits and recorded 12
strikeouts in his complete game winning effort.
is a tremendous competitor on the mound,” Texas manager Jim Michalek
said. “He is an extremely polished pitcher, one of the best we have
confident on the mound today,” Bernard said.
Arizona, now 2-0 in pool play is far from
satisfied with their trip to Williamsport.
“We can’t let up,” Bernard said. “We can’t
ever let up.”