Game 11
1 vs. Northwest

Sunday, August 20, 2006
3:00PM ET

DeJardin deals Northwest a victory
Keller’s bat and DeJardin’s arm lead Murrayhill to 9-1 victory

By Brandon Miller
Special Correspondent

The Murrayhill All-Stars from Beaverton, Ore. got their bats to wake up as they pounded out nine runs on nine hits in their 9-1 victory over the South Lake Charles All-Stars from Lake Charles, La. on Sunday at Little League Volunteer Stadium.

While Devon DeJardin shut down South Lake Charles to the tune of one run, three hits, and eight strikeouts, Murrayhill shortstop Derek Keller gave the team all the offense they would need with a solid 2-for-3 afternoon at the plate including a home run and five RBIs.

After giving up five earned runs in only one-third of an inning during Murrayhill’s first game, DeJardin was eager to get back on the mound and remind everyone just how good he is.

“After the game Friday I was a little nervous about today,” said DeJardin. “I didn’t want the same thing to happen.”

“I believed in him, his teammates believed in him, we just needed to make sure that he believed in himself, and he did,” said Murrayhill manager Jeff Keller.

In an attempt to get DeJardin to relax coming into today’s game, manager Keller gave his team the entire day off yesterday.

“It was a must win game today,” said manager Keller. “I knew he had it in him. He got a bunch of emails today, some from people he didn’t even know, telling him, ‘hey, relax, settle down, you’re going to go out and pitch a great game.’”

Aside from a solo home run in the fourth, DeJardin only allowed three other runners to reach base, none of which made it past second.

Murrayhill had managed only two hits and one run in the Little League Baseball World Series opener on Friday, but bounced back in a big way when Jace Fry led off the game with a solo shot to right-center field.

“I wasn’t expecting a home run because I had two strikes, but then he piped the changeup right down the middle and I hit it,” said Fry.

“When he hit the ball, I knew it was gone just from the sound of the bat and the height of the ball” said South Lake Charles manager Josh Corman. “We came out really flat, and when you play flat, you get beat.”

The game broke open in the bottom of the second when Toma Matisoff led off with a double. A Trevor Nix walk and stolen base put runners on second and third with nobody out. After a strikeout, manager Corman chose to intentionally walk Fry to load the bases and make a force at home plate.

“When you get to this level, teams are good,” said manager Corman. “Today was their day. They had to win and they did.”

Perhaps with a sense of urgency to get the win, Keller stepped up and delivered the two-out single to plate two runs, and then scored when Sam Albert's singled resulted in a throwing error.

Keller wasn’t done. With the wind kicking up in the bottom of the fourth and runners on first and second, Keller smacked a long home run over the wall in right-center to extend Murrayhill’s lead to 9-1 and give him five RBIs on the day.

“Those home runs were launched” said manager Keller. “I don’t care if they were 250 foot fences, they were gone. We hit the ball very well today. We drove the ball.”

South Lake Charles looked to get on the board in the top of the second when Zack Lacombe rocketed a two-out single off the foot of DeJardin. Unfazed, DeJardin quickly shook it off and came back with a strikeout to end the inning.

“It seemed like every ball we hit was kind of at somebody or was a little flair that they were just catching,” said manager Corman.

Ultimately, it was Paul Beglis who provided the only offense for the Southwest All-Stars when he put a charge into the ball leading off the fourth, easily clearing the centerfield wall.

“I think we have a lot of heart. I think we’ll bounce back,” said manager Corman. “This was our first loss of the year so we’re going to have to deal with it. They’ll be ok.”


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