Moose, Expert Express prevail in tourney play

By Matt Wilson

   The Junior Babe Ruth tournament began with some exciting games Thursday night at Elizabethton High School.
   In Game 1, the Moose Club Twins overwhelmed the Elks Club Cubs with a five-run inning and held on for a 5-0 win.
   The Twins ran their record to 15-3 on the season, with Jeff Peters running his record to 10-0 on the hill.
   The Cubs threatened in the opening inning as leadoff man Andrew Church drew a walk. Church advanced to second on a pass ball.
   Josh Sorah's bloop single put runners on first and third with no outs. The Twins' burly young lefty then buckled down and struck out the next hitter.
   With two down Peters then struck out his mound counterpart, Jacob Thomas. The ball got away from the catcher and Church tried to steal home, but Peters was there for the putout and the Cub threat ended.
   The only offense of the night came in the first for the Twins, and it would be all Peters needed.
   An error and a walk put two on for slugger Cory Pearson, who crushed a towering home-run shot to left. Two more Cub miscues allowed Twin Chris Richardson to drive home the final runs with a single.
   Peters then seemed to cruise with a 5-run lead.
   Controversy came in the fourth frame when Cub sparkplug Andrew Church crushed a ball to dead center that was ruled a ground-rule double. This ended any hopes of a Cub rally and the Twins held on to win 5-0.
   Cubs manager Noel Church was disappointed by his team's defensive miscues, saying: "Our defense has hurt us all year. Except for that one inning we played with them pretty well."
   The Cubs' weakness was one of the Twins' strengths.
   Twins manager C.Y. Peters was pleased with his squad's defense.
   "That was probably our best defensive performance," C.Y. said. "We played good defense and pitched well and Cory Pearson hit another homer for us."
   The loss forced the Cubs to play another game in the nightcap.
   Expert Express D-Backs 7
   Phillips Dev. Red Sox 5
   Game 2 proved to be a classic that came down to the final pitch to determine the winner.
   The league champion Diamondbacks were pressed to the limit by a determined Red Sox team.
   The Red Sox came out swinging against the powerful D-Back team. A first-inning walk to Matthew Rasnick set up the game's first home run, one of three on the night.
   Brandon Medina then clubbed a home run to left off starter Travis Bishop to give the Sox a 2-0 advantage.
   The league champs answered in bottom of the first frame when Corey Nave walked then stole his way to third.
   Travis Bishop then singled to bring home Nave and cut the lead in half. The D-Backs regained the lead in the third when Kevin Jessee and Chris Triplett drew walks off Red Sox starter Scott Burleson.
   A perfectly placed bunt by Nick McNeal loaded the bases. The D-Backs brought home the tying run a fielder's choice then Travis Bishop gave himself a 4-2 lead with a single that brought home two.
   In the top of the fourth the Red Sox played long ball again as Jared Oliver homered to left after Medina reached on an error.
   With the game knotted at 4-4 the D-Back answered the challenge again as in the bottom of the frame Wendell Loving drew a walk then stole second. He advanced to third on a wild pitch.
   Red Sox starter Burleson gave way to Cody Marley, who struckout the first two men he faced. A walk to Kevin Jessee put men on the corners.
   Marley picked Jessee off first base, but Wendell Loving scooted home during the run down to give the Dbacks the 5-4 advantage.
   Not to be outdone the gutsy Red Sox tied the game yet again in the fifth when back-to-back hit batsmen set up Jared Oliver with the chance to deliver.
   Oliver singled home the tying run and the score was knotted at 5-5 going into the D-Backs' final at-bat.
   An error by the left fielder put lead off man Nick McNeal at third.
   Corey Nave then ended the game with towering two-run walk-off homer to stave off the Red Sox upset 7-5. The Diamond Backs improve to 17-1.
   Reds vs. Cubs
   At deadline the Reds were clinging to 2-1 lead over the Cubs.
   Michael Carpenter was on the hill for the Cubs while Michael Hodge was the starter for the Reds.
   In the first, Carpenter drew a walk and promptly stole second and third and scored on an error by the Reds' second bagger to give the Cubs the 1-0 advantage.
   Bryant Collins singled home Hodge with the Reds' first run of the night and scored on a pass ball to make 2-1.
   The tournament continues tonight at 5:30 at Elizabethton High School.