SMYRNA - Facing District I elimination for a fourth straight night, M.O.T. upended Camden-Wyoming 14-4 Friday night to force one more game for the title.
As the 11- and 12-year-old all-stars scored two more runs on their 18th hit in the bottom of the fifth inning, there was momentary confusion on whether the 10-rule was in effect and the contest was over.
It officially was, though unofficially it appeared to be like M.O.T.’s night for the last three innings or so.
Brody Sapp opened the bottom of the third inning with a no-doubt homer to left, breaking a 2-2 tie and starting an offensive surge for the rest of the game.
M.O.T. scored four runs in the third, three in the fourth and give in the fifth to put it away. Nine players had hits, almost all of the line shot variety.
Blake Harbert ended the game with a two-run single, which was preceded by consecutive singles Ben Falletta, Evan Bouldin and Zach Hart.
C-W had its moments, including a towering solo home run by Andrew Rigby that earned a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Rigby will get the starting pitcher nod tonight in the championship game, one of seven hurlers manager Wilfredo Mendez said are available.
“We’re going to be ready to go, I truly believe that,” Mendez said. “I believe in Camden a whole lot and know the guys are more than able to turn it around.”
Marquis Guy singled in the fourth, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Dale Ostermann’s single to pull C-W within 6-3. Wilfredo Mendez Jr. opened the with inning by crushing a home run to centerfield, but his team was down 9-3 at the time.
“We have several excellent hitters,” Mendez said.
C-W second baseman Tate Wisniewski made a beautiful catch on a looper in short right field and Austin Bower snagged a searing liner by Jake Saloney to end the second inning when the outcome was still in doubt.
Mendez acknowledged that beating M.O.T. will be a tall task because “They’re an awesome team.”
Winning manager Mike Saloney said C-W is in the championship game for a reason - it’s ability to play baseball very well - and M.O.T. will need another big effort to advance.
Fortunately, Saloney said, he has the two pitchers he wants to use most available - Falletta to start and Harbert to close.
M.O.T. broke open in the third by building a 6-2 lead on Sapp’s home run and singles by Falletta, Bouldin, Nick Pompao and Sean Smith.
Ben Dawson (first inning) and Cordero Smith (fourth inning) both had doubles for C-W,
M.O.T. opened the tournament with a loss to Felton-Harrington and has survived every day since.
“I think some people might have come out at first and thought it was going to be easy and we were automatically going to win,” Sapp said.
Said his manager Saloney, “The team is coming together. They’re confident and staring to believe they can do this.”
The District I champ will play the Newark American-Milton winner on Thursday night in Smyrna.
Staff writer Craig Anderson can be reached at 741-8296 or email@example.com. Follow @DSNAnderson on Twitter.