By Tony Adams
The stakes were high Tuesday night at Jaycee Field in Belton, as the Belton Yankees and Belton Rockies locked horns with a spot in Wednesday night’s Texas Teenage Baseball (TTAB) District 14U Championship.
It did not take long to see who wanted the spot more.
Coby Trovinger had three doubles with three runs batted in and Will Wallace pitched four shutout innings as the Yankees hammered the Rockies for 11 runs in the third inning for a 17-1, five-inning win.
The Yankees will play Cameron on Wednesday night in a post-press time Wednesday affair. A win by the Yankees on Wednesday and they clinch a 14U state berth in Hillsboro. A win by Cemeron and they force a winner-take-all game at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Alex Saldana reached first on an error and stole second base to lead off the ballgame. Trovinger’s double scored Saldana to put the Yankees up to stay. He stole third and scored on a wild pitch to give the Yankees a 2-0 advantage.
Wallace gave up a lead-off single to Eoin O’Grady to lead off the bottom of the first, but picked O’Grady off first base.
After four consecutive strikeouts by Wallace, Ruben Jimenez walked in the bottom of the second. After a balk, Wallace induced a ground out to third base to set up the top of the third inning fireworks for the Yankees.
Trovinger launched his second double of the game to deep centerfield to start the inning. Two walks and an error later, Rockies starting pitcher Sean Rojas was relieved by Jimenez. Only able to retire one Yankee hitter in five batters face, Jimenez was replaced by Devin Torres. The Rockies were able to eventually retire the Yankees, but not before they picked up 11 runs on only two hits (both Trovinger doubles), a catcher’s interference, an error, a hit batsman and six walks.
The Yankees picked up two more runs in the fourth inning and a two-run inside-the-park homer from Canyon Tubbs in the fifth inning. Wallace gave way to Tubbs on the hill and gave up an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. Wallace tossed 52 pitches in four innings, surrendering two hits, one walk and struck out seven.