The Jackson Co. Black Sox played in the second of two state championships this past weekend. Ohio youth travel baseball has two different affiliations — Nation’s Baseball and USSSA Baseball.
Last weekend the Sox finished third in the Nation’s Baseball State Championship; however, the Sox would do better in pool play of the USSSA State Championship which would lead to the #1 seed in the tournament and give them a bye making their path more manageable.
The Jackson Co. Black Sox would also like to congratulate the STIX from Jackson who were also successful in winning a State Championship at the 10U age division.
In game one, the 9U Sox would play the Cincinnati Patriots and jump out to an early lead by scoring three runs in the first inning. Waylon Delong and Pierce Kreischer would walk, then after a single by Easton Large, he would eventually score as well.
Kreischer, Large, and Griffen Michael would do the pitching for the Sox scattering six hits. The Black Sox had key hits from Delong, Collin Landrum, Kreischer, Jake Gallagher, and Michael including multiple hits from Large and Cooper Marcum. The Sox would win the game by a score of 17-3.
In game two, they would be matched up against a very good Central Ohio Fire team from the Marion area. Pitching for the Sox was Landrum, Marcum, and Large. Large was used in relief, once again, as a stopper. With two men on base, he was able to get back to back outs and end a scoring threat from the Fire.
The Sox continued to hit well with hits by Delong, Kruiz Kuhn, Braden Bobst, Michael, and two each from Large and Landrum. Although the Fire had several more baserunners than the Sox, somehow they were able to come away with a 7-3 victory.
Game three on elimination day proved to be more of the same as the Patriots were able to come up with a key win to advance them to a rematch with the Black Sox.
Easton Large would start on the mound, but after a 5-2 lead by the Sox, he was pulled in an effort to conserve the one remaining inning he had left in case he was needed in the championship game. Marcum would come in and pitch well; however, in the 5th inning, Cooper would get into a jam and allow two men to reach base.
With only one out and the tying run at the plate, Pierce Kreischer gunned down a runner at 2nd base and then Marcum would get the next batter to fly out to Corbyn Smalley playing left field ending the threat. The Sox were able to break it open in the bottom of the 5th and win by a score of 10-2.
Large and Kreischer led the hitting with two hits each while Corbyn Smalley and Cooper Murcum would also hit safely. Braiden Bobst would come up big in the bottom of the 5th with a hit to drive in the final run as the game would end due to the mercy rule.
As the Black Sox advanced to the Championship game, they’d have their hands full with Buckeye Baseball Club (BBC) from the Columbus area. BBC had been scoring in the double digits throughout the tournament and had the hardest throwing pitcher the Sox had seen so far on the season.
With the Sox being the home team, Collin Landrum set the tone in the first inning by sitting down BBC hitters in order. In the bottom of the first, Delong would walk, then steal second and third. Then a big hit by Cooper Marcum allowed the Sox to score first.
Gutsy pitching and good defensive kept BBC off the board most of the game. In two innings, the lead off hitter would reach 2nd base and not score because Landrum was able to pick off the runners. In the 4th inning, a ball was hit to the fence with a runner on first. Smalley quickly hit his cut off man, Delong, who relayed the ball to Kreischer to get the out at the plate.
The Sox would tack on a few runs throughout as the BBC flamethrower would struggle to throw strikes. Bobst would get down a key bunt with one out to score Michael from third. Kreischer, Gallagher, and Michael would all chip in with hits and an RBI each. Landrum had worked out of jams throughout the game and had reached the last inning with a 5-0 lead.
However, BBC continued to battle. They scored two runs and had the tying run come to the plate with two men on and two outs. In the end, it was Landrum’s will to win which led to a weak ground ball to Marcum who fielded it and for the final out of the game and the championship.