Babe Ruth tournament weeded down to three teams

By Ivan Sanders

   The season came to a close for two teams in the losers bracket of the Carter County/Elizabethton Babe Ruth League tournament at Elizabethton High School on Monday night.
   In the opening game, Derek Slagle kept the Indians of PIC tied to the stake as he pitched a complete-game, two-hit gem in leading his Elks Braves to a dominating 10-2 victory.
   Slagle benefited from a bevy of hits from his teammates to stymie anything the Indians tried to do. Ryan Kennedy led the offensive charge with a 3-for-4 performance while Lucas Deloach pitched in with a 2-for-3 effort.
   Five other Braves, including Coty Mann, Michael Mann, Slagle, Tyler Andes and Austin Guinn, all collected one hit each.
   Shannon Buchannon took a tough loss from the pitching rubber as his team only could manage two hits in six innings of play.
   Buchannon delivered one of the hits and Robert Davenport registered the other for the only offense mustered by the Indians.
   Each team committed two errors from the field.
   Citizens Bank Cardinals 4
   Moose Orioles 2
   In probably one of the best games of the season, Citizens Bank scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie and propel the Cardinals to another day while the books were closed on the Moose Orioles' season.
   Adam Grindstaff came in relief of Cody Eggers to pick up the victory. Brandon Barnett threw a barnburner of a game, but in the end the young lefty absorbed the defeat.
   Each team collected four hits, but the downfall of the Orioles fell on the fact they committed six errors to only two for the Cardinals.
   Four different players were responsible for the four hits on each side of the ledger. The Orioles were led by Barnett, Jared Thomas, Josh Cole and Tim Franklin at the dish while the Cardinal hits came from Grindstaff, Eggers, Kurt Kemp, and Matt Rasnick.
   The Cardinals advance to face the Braves as both teams continue their walk up the bracket on the losers' side.
   Citizens Bank Cardinals 6
   Elks Braves 5
   The Cinderella run for the Cardinals continued as the Bankers eliminated a very good Elks Braves squad by the score of 6-5 in losers' bracket action on Tuesday night.
   Citizens Bank carried a 4-3 advantage until the fourth inning when the Braves rallied to knot the score. Wasting little time, the Cardinals put a two-spot on the board in their fifth to regain the edge 6-4.
   Elks added one more in the sixth, but it wasn't going to turn out to be the Braves' night as the Cardinals held on to advance to tonight's loser bracket championship.
   Cody Eggers came in relief of Adam Grindstaff to record the win from the hill. Coty Mann gave a warrior effort in pitching the complete-game defeat.
   Grindstaff had a banner evening as the young man tallied three hits in four at-bats. Kurt Kemp and Matt Rasnick each chipped in with one hit each.
   Derek Slagle was a Brave on a hitting tear as he smacked a shot for an inside the park homer, going a perfect 2-for-2 on the night.
   Andrew Kennedy contributed two hits for the Braves while Michael Mann and Austin Guinn notched one hit each. The Braves played perfect defense with no errors. The Cardinals committed two for the contest.
   Tetrick's Yankees....................................1
   Papa Johns D-Backs...............................11
   It was a highly-anticipated matchup with the number one and number two teams in the league squared off for the right to stay on the winners' bracket side. In the end it was a game of total domination by the season champ Papa John's D-Backs.
   Jonathan Crowley went three innings, struck out eight and went 2-for-3 in helping his team stay on the upper side of the bracket. Chad Lewis came in for a relief appearance to close the door for Crowley.
   Michael Shields took the tough loss. The Yankees sputtered like a choked lawn mower without the services of their big man, Jordy Harrison, as Tetrick's managed only one hit for the contest off the bat of Dustin Morton.
   Meanwhile, the Papa John team was spreading hits like tomato sauce as they collected 10 hits from eight players. Besides Crowley's output, the D-Backs received two hits from Lewis and one hit each from Kevin Jessee, Corey Nave, Nick McNeal, Ricky Garrison, Thorne Potter and Josh Hardin.
   Tetrick's not only struggled at the dish, but in the field as well committing seven errors to only one for the D-Backs.
   Papa John's now awaits the winner of tonight's game between the Cardinals and Yankees to see whom they will face for the tournament championship on Thursday night at 6. If Papa John's should lose game one, then a second game will follow the first one at 8:15 p.m.