PITTSBURG — It was a complete win for Austin Wings Black in the Premier Baseball Junior National Championship on Friday, as quality pitching and timely hitting led them to a 9-1 victory over Building Champions Navy inside Jaycee Ballpark.
Wings’ starter Seth DeVries held Building Champions scoreless through his five innings of work, while the offense cashed in for nine runs on 13 hits to end the game by run rule in the bottom of the sixth.
“I thought it was our most complete game of the year,” Austin head coach Marcus Hendry said. “Our starting pitcher went out and set the tone. Seth DeVries was amazing today and he had all three of his pitches working.”
After a quiet start to the game, the Wings broke the seal with a run in the fourth inning, going up 1-0 on the strength of a solo home run to right-center field off the bat of Cole Moore.
The Wings continued their offensive momentum in the fifth, as they touched up Building Champions for five runs to expand the lead to 6-0.
Ashton Albert brought the inning to attention with a leadoff home run to left field on the first pitch of the frame.
More trouble started brewing for Building Champions in the next at-bat, as Cody Vinklarek drew a walk and moved up into scoring position on a base hit to center field by Jonathan Gonzales.
A pop-up on a bunt attempt gave Building Champions a much-needed first out of the inning, but back-to-back walks allowed Vinklarek to jog across the plate uncontested.
Gonzales capitalized on a passed ball to score the second run of the inning, before Moore drove in Andrew Noack and Dylan Weiss on a single up the middle to increase his RBI total to three.
Building Champions had two-out magic working in sixth, as Brice Pannier snuck a ground ball through the right side of the infield and scored from first on a double into the left-center field gap by Reid Seacat to cut the deficit to 6-1.
The Wings held Building Champions to one run in the sixth and responded with three runs in the bottom half of the frame to end the game via rule with a 9-1 lead.
Jake Taute kickstarted the inning with a leadoff single and went from first to third on a double to right field off the bat of Leyton Barry.
Albert drove in Taute with a single up the middle and advanced to third on a RBI base hit to right field by Vinklarek.
With runners on the corners and one out, Albert ended the game after crossing the plate on a defensive miscue.
“The guys had a good approach at the plate,” Hendry said. “They were trying to drive the ball up the middle of the field. We hit a lot of balls hard in the first four innings, but they were going right at people and Building Champions was playing great defense. We just kept preaching to them to keep the same approach and try to drive the ball from gap to gap because eventually they’re going to fall.”
WINGS AT THE DISH
Cole Moore was the offensive catalyst, driving in three runs on two hits with a run scored.
Taute was also seeing the ball well, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
BUILDING CHAMPIONS AT THE DISH
Seacat drove in the lone run of the game with one hit and a walk.
Pannier came through for one hit and a run scored.
WINGS ON THE MOUND
DeVries earned the win, holding Building Champions scoreless through five innings with five strikeouts mixed in.
Weiss closed out the win in the sixth with one earned run on three hits.
BUILDING CHAMPIONS ON THE MOUND
Brandon Carvan was on the hook for the loss, allowing five earned runs on eight hits with one strikeout through 4.1 innings of work.
Billy Eggers took over in fifth and allowed two earned runs on five hits.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.