Game 5
Mid-Atlantic 2
 vs. Southeast 3

Saturday, August 19, 2006
1:00PM ET


Les(ter) is more
Josh Lester’s RBI Single in Extra Frame Gives Southeast Champs Win

By Mark Rogoff
Special Correspondent

The Staten Island All-Stars were walk-off winners against New Jersey in the Mid-Atlantic Region championship game. On Saturday in their Pool A opener, they were on the losing end of a sudden-death game, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Columbus (Ga.) All-Stars in seven innings.

Georgia's Josh Lester provided the game-winning hit, smacking a one-out single in the seventh that scored Ryan Lang from second and ending the game at Lamade Stadium after a two-hour, six-minute rain delay.

Lester came to the plate after an intentional walk to slugger Kyle Carter, and he made Mid-Island Little League pay.

“I haven’t had many, but I’ve had a couple,” said Lester. “When they pitch around Kyle it usually pays, and that time it paid.”

Lang started the home half of the seventh with a lead-off walk, and went to second on Matthew Hollis’s sacrifice bunt.

“I don’t know about (the players), but I’m emotionally and physically drained and I didn’t do anything but stand up there and coach,” said Georgia manager Morris.

Staten Island got the lead-off man on in the top of the seventh with Adam Skjeie’s double off Carter, who came on in relief of J.T. Phillips. But Chris Benedetto struck out, Joe Calabrese grounded out and Chris Goetz struck out to end the inning.

“It was a heated game with two very good teams playing and very good pitching going,” said Morris.

Phillips allowed two runs and four hits in six innings of work. Staten Island’s Chris Goetz, meanwhile, surrendered a pair of runs on six hits in six innings.

Some heads up baserunning by Staten Island’s Joe Calabrese helped tie the score at 2-2 in the fifth. With one out and Calabrese on first, Goetz hit a slow roller toward short that third baseman Patrick Stallings cut off, fielded cleanly, but had a tough time transferring to his throwing hand.

Goetz reached first base safely without a throw, and with no one covering third, the speedy Calabrese advanced to third. Calabrese then came around to score on Frank Smith fielder’s choice grounder to second baseman Matthew Hollis.

Cody Walker opened the scoring with a solo homer in the bottom of the first, driving a 1-2 offering from Goetz over the wall in right-center field. Then in the third, Walker drove in Lang from second with a sharp single to left.

“The first two pitches I missed completely,” Walker said of his at-bat that resulted in a homer. “I got myself back together, and he threw a curveball outside that was up. I just went with the pitch.”

Three straight hits by the seven-through-nine hitters produced New York’s first run. Matt Davis started it with a single to left-center field. After special pinch runner Doug Goetz advanced to second on a passed ball, Adam Skjeie’s single up the middle pushed Goetz to third. That set the table for Benedetto’s RBI to right.
 

 


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