Holding on for dear
Morganton holds off Lincoln
after repeated comeback efforts; prevails 5-4
Morganton coach Wayne
Chapman knows just how tough the competition is at the Little
League World Series, especially after his team's clash with
"Any win here is a
good win," he claims.
And he's right.
The Southeast champs
(2-1) were definitely reminded just how good the talent is in
South Williamsport as they held off a pair of spirited comeback
attempts by Lincoln (1-1) to hold on for a 5-4 victory in front of
a capacity crowd of 6,975 at Volunteer Stadium.
The Lincoln Little
Leaguers battled back from three-run deficits to pull within one
on two occasions late in the game.
Trailing 3-0 in the
fourth, Brendan Sullivan knocked in Chris Constantino from third
with a single up the middle, and two batters later, Lincoln pulled
within one when special pinch runner Jeremy Rhault scored on a
Chris Fine poked a two-run homer to left-center field in the
bottom of the fourth, Lincoln came right back in the fifth when
Chris Constantino slugged a two-out, two-run homer to face a 5-4
"I am extremely proud
of the kids," said Lincoln coach Charlie Hien. "That's what we've
done all year long. I'm disappointed about the loss, but we can
hold our heads high."
Tallent allowed two unearned runs in four-plus innings, leaving
after giving up a leadoff single to Alex Kay in the fifth.
Lawson came in and induced Damon Divozzi to ground into a double
play. Following a Matt Agresta single to right-center field,
Constantino hit his first home run of the tournament. Tallent then
struck out Zach Trenteseaux to end the inning.
Dykota Spiess came on
in the sixth to close it out, allowing a two-out single to Steve
Ricci before settling down to strike out P.J. Rampone to end the
"Before the inning,
Dykota said, 'Don't worry. I got this. We're not going to bat
again. It's over,'" Fine said.
As for Fine's home
run, which turned out to be the difference in the ballgame, the
catcher said, "I was just looking for a hit. I sat on a curveball
and luckily it went out. I always come through in this type of
situation, and I did again."
Morganton got on the
board first in the bottom of the first when Spiess laced a single
to left-center field that plated leadoff man Aaron Attaway, who
stroked a single to left-center field to open the game.
Lawson cranked a solo
homer in the second to make it 2-0. The North Carolinians made it
3-0 when Fine's infield single scored Attaway three batters later.
"Today we were pumped
up and we hit the ball well," Lawson said. "We were ready to hit
the fastball and wait on the curve."
Added coach Chapman:
"We were aggressive in the right situations. I thought our guys
did a good job adjusting to their pitches."
for box scores