Richmond cashes in
Southwest Champs improve to
2-0 with second mercy-rule victory
By David Graham-Caso
Manager Jim Michalek still swears he does not have a power-hitting
team. The number dictate otherwise.
The Lamar National
Little League from Richmond, Texas continued its Pool B dominance
Sunday afternoon with a 12-2 victory over Owensboro, Ky., a day
after recording a 18-7 victory over Redland, Wa.
slugged two homeruns Sunday, extending their tournament-leading
total to six.
“We are not a power
hitting team,” said Texas manager Jim Michalek. “We are a good
hitting team and we hit the ball on the screws today.”
Texas starter Daniel
Homann allowed just two runs on five hits while first baseman
Tyler Ford provided the offensive spark for his club, going
3-for-3 and scoring two runs in front ofa crowd of over 11,000 at
“All I had to do was
to stay calm and keep my composure,” Homann said. “I knew that my
defense would get me out of any jam that I was in.”
Texas, which scored 18
runs in their Little League World Series opener yesterday,
capitalized on an eight-run fifth to post double digits in the run
column for the second straight day.
Great Lakes set the
tempo for the game in the top of the first inning. A lead off
single by Jonathon Higdon that skipped down the left-field line
was immediately followed by a bunt single off the bat of Cole
Sturgeon. Later in the inning, with one out and Higdon still on
second, Owensboro first baseman Meghan Sims rocketed a grounder up
the middle. The scorching grounder was too much for Texas second
baseman Joey Scheurich to handle and the error plated Higdon.
notched one more run in the inning, when Sturgeon crossed the
plate on a Nick Laster two-out single.
Great Lakes hurler
Ross Gilliam worked out of a jam in his first inning on the mound.
The starter surrendered a single to Richmond leadoff man Cody
Abraham and then a walk to Scheurich. The next batter was Texas
slugger Randal Grichuk. Grichuk was coming off of a 3-for-3,
two-home run day and with two runners on was as dangerous as a
rattlesnake. While attempting to avoid giving Grichuk any meaty
pitches, Gilliam threw a series of wild pitches which allowed
Abraham to circle the bases and score. After the run crossed the
plate, Gilliam appeared to relax and caught Grichuk staring at a
3-2 curveball. Gilliam also used his nasty hook to catch Daniel
Homann looking and then blew a fastball by Matt Daniels to end the
inning with Scheurich stranded on second.
Owensboro lost the
lead in the bottom of the second. Stephen Michalek tied the game
with a RBI single and then Dustin Moehling gave Texas the lead by
coming home on a wild pitch. Texas extended their lead when a lazy
fly ball ricocheted off of Sturgeon’s mitt in centerfield,
allowing Michalek to score. At the end of two wild innings, Texas
was leading 4-2.
“You have to play a
perfect game to beat a team of that quality,” said Kentucky
manager Vic Evans Jr. “You can’t give them extra outs and we did
The Texas offense
exploded in the bottom of the fifth. Lamar National scored eight
runs off two different Owensboro pitchers. The offensive surge was
peaked with a three-run Abraham dinger over the ESPN camera stand
in right field.
Texas finished off
Kentucky when Grichuk hammered a monster blast over the scoreboard
in left. Grichuk’s homerun made the score 12-2 and the mercy rule
“I got a low and
inside pitch,” Grichuk said. “And I happen to like low and inside
“We seem to be playing
reasonably well,” J. Michalek said. “And it couldn’t be coming at
a better time.”
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