messes with De Jesus
A Richie De Jesus bomb gets
Boynton Beach’s offense going
by David Graham-Caso
of a thunder storm that would have made Noah nervous, the Pool A
showdown between Tallmadge, Ohio and Boynton Beach, Florida was
rescheduled from Saturday evening to Sunday morning. The clouds parted
as the sun rose and the diligent grounds keeping crews were able to
prepare Volunteer field in time for the 10 a.m. scheduled start.
Boynton Beach’s offense exploded for 7
runs in front of 2,875 at Volnteer stadium Sunday to improve their
pool play record to 2-0. Tallmadge fell to 0-2.
Boynton shortstop Michael Broad nearly
gave his team the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Broad drove
a Nick Thompson offering deep to right field, only to have Tallmadge
right fielder Andrew Volcheck snatch the ball out of the air as it was
about to sail beyond the wall. The web-gem ended the inning with the
Boynton’s next at
bat was lead off by clean-up man Richie De Jesus. De Jesus sent a line
shot to center that was not only out of the reach of the Tallmadge
outfield, but over the heads of the gallery sitting 10 feet beyond the
“I have not been hitting so well,” De
Jesus said. “But the coaches helped me straighten out my swing and I
guess it worked.”
R.J. Neal also crossed home in the
second. With Neal on third and one out, Benny Townend sent a
two-strike pitch back up the middle. The grounder was gloved by
Thompson, who tossed the ball to first to get Townend. Neal broke for
home, and barely slid around the tag of catcher Jake Jamieson, scoring
the second run of the game for Boynton Beach.
De Jesus nearly struck again, this time
in the third inning. With the bases full, De Jesus sent an opposite
field blast deep to right. The ball bounced off of the top of the wall
and back into play. Only one run came across on the long single.
“I thought is was a pop fly,” the
Tallmadge manager Randy Keen pulled his
starter in favor of Matt Keen after De Jesus’s RBI single. It took
Keen a few pitches to find his control, and a wild pitch plated Broad.
After the wild pitch, Keen got out of the jam by striking out Neal and
inducing Cody Emerson to line out to short. The pair of runs in the
third extended the Boynton Beach lead to 4-0.
Florida pitcher Cody Emerson had
Tallmadge guessing all day. The junk ball-throwing lefty allowed only
two hits in his complete game victory.
“We have faced curveballs through our
district, state and regionals,” Great Lakes skipper Randy Keen said.
“But now we are seeing the best curveballs in the world.”
Tallmadge got one run back in their
half of the third. With runners at the corners and two outs, a Broad
error at short allowed special pinch runner D.J. Radcliffe to come
two more runs in their next ups. A single and a pair of walks loaded
the bases for Jordan Irene. Irene hit a weak grounder to third, which
Joe Cochran fielded cleanly. Cochran turned to gun the lead runner at
home, but air-mailed Jamieson. The over-throw brought in two Boynton
base runners. Keen again stopped the bleeding, striking out Broad and
getting De Jesus to fly out to left.
“Joe is one of the guys that got us
here, so I don’t want to point any fingers” Keen said. “But that play
really took the wind out of our sails.”
After Boynton added another run in the
top of the fifth, Tallmadge’s Thompson sent a solo blast over the
left-centerfield fence to bring his squad to within five runs.
The scoreboard would remain stagnant
for the remainder of the game, giving Boynton the win. The 7-2 victory
improves Boynton Beach to 2-0 in pool play and virtually assures them
a spot in the single elimination round. Tallmadge next takes on
Richland, Washington on Monday at Volunteer Stadium.