Cardinals, Rockies enjoy prosperity on pee-wee diamond

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   The regular season came to an end on Tuesday in the Boys & Girls Club pee-wee division, with the Cardinals downing the Yankees by a final of 12-4.
   "It was a good team effort, outstanding defense, and overall exceptional hitting," said Cardinal coach Mike Banner.
   The Cardinals grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first when Tyler Whitlock ripped a hit to left field, scoring Jordan Banner and Jake Hubbard.
   In the bottom of the second, the Cards stretched their lead to a six-run advantage.
   A run was scored when David McInturff smacked a hit to left field to drive in Will Thomasson.
   Another run came across after a shot from Banner that brought home Brian Mullins.
   Hubbard drove in two more scores with a hit to left, which knocked home McInturff and Andy Bowers.
   The Cardinal defense remained flawless through the first three innings, as they allowed just two-hits.
   "Our fielding was really good tonight except for the couple of innings we switched people around, but with our regular guys they were pretty much unstoppable," said Banner.
   Their lead grew to 9-0 in the bottom of the third with a triple from Ryan Pinkerston that scored Whitlock.
   A hit from Cody Vance drove in Pinkerston, and a smack to center field from Isaac Carraway scored Vance.
   The Yankees first run came in the top of the fourth when Dylan Carr connected to bring home Josh Harrison.
   the Cardinal matched their run in the bottom of the inning with a run scoring off of a fielder's choice from Bowers that drove home McInturff.
   Josh Hubbard answered with a big hit in the top of the fifth, as he knocked one into center field that enabled him to make it all the way around back to home.
   Two more runs came after a shot and high bounce from Ethan Jones scored Jacob McCracken and Cory Lyons.
   The final two runs of the game came in the bottom of the fifth, with Hubbard busting a hit and rounded the bases.
   The last one scored off of a fielder's choice from Vance that brought home Whitlock.
   In the sixth and final inning, the Cardinal defense stepped up to field three straight pop-ups to end the contest.
   "They have the potential to make it to the finals, and it depends on whether they come ready to play or not," said Banner.
   Rockies 22
   Devil Rays 0
   It was the Rockies overshadowing the Devil Rays in a decisive battle as they finished in second place in regular-season play.
   "These are little kids out here, and they just need to put the bat on the ball. That's the name of the game in this league," said Rockies coach Mike Hardin.
   The Rockies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first by connecting on three hits, producing three runs.
   Mickey Hardin, Brian Hamby and Matthew Potter all came up with a hit that led to scores, as each one of them made it around back to the plate.
   A monsoon of runs came in the second frame for the Rockies, with every batter scoring for the exception of one.
   "In order to have the most success, you must be able to make contact, and the teams that do it are the ones that will win," said Mike Hardin.
   The first run was made off of a hit up the middle from Steven Bentley that scored Jordan Adam.
   The last run of the inning was from a shot by Nicholas Lyons that drove in Caleb Banks.
   Two runners made it to base for the Devil Rays in the bottom of the second after Josh Gregg and Zack Hyder connected on the ball.
   But unfortunately it became a missed opportunity for the Devil Rays, as their last two batters struck out.
   The Rockies continued their dominance in the third when they grabbed eight more runs off of 11 hits.
   Jason Lyons crossed the plate for their score after Cody Jenkins hit a grounder between first and second base.
   The last run was made off of a hit from Mickey Hardin to bring home Ethan Pritchard.
   "As far as are chances in the tournament goes, it depends on which team shows up. You cannot have many strikeouts or commit errors," said Mike Hardin.
   The Devil Rays were unable to produce a score in the bottom of the third as Landon South came up with a hit to center field, but was called out by a Taylor Edwards shot that hit him on his way to third.