By Jason Hanes
With the winning team getting a clear path to the championship game in 14U at the Myrtle Beach Summer Nationals, Canes Simpson came through with a 12-2 run-rule win over EPA Gold Sunday night.
The loss sends EPA gold to the loser’s bracket finale Monday morning against Ohio Spiders 14U. The Spiders held off a late rally by Diamond Devils Scheno, 7-3, to clinch a spot in the game to decide who moves to the championship contest.
Canes Simpson started the day with a 9-1 win over Ohio Spiders, then kept the offensive momentum going to get the win in the second game of the day. “We scored five in the top of the first in the first game,” said Canes head coach Brian Simpson. “It’s a big help when you can score three in the first inning and score again in the second.”
In the game against EPA Gold, Canes Simpson took a 7-1 lead after an inning and a half of play. “We’re starting to see the ball a lot better,” said coach Simpson. “We’ve been playing for two and a half weeks after playing in a tournament in Alabama before this. We saw a lot of baseballs down there, and we’re seeing the baseball here.”
Starting pitcher Matty Brown would go the distance for the Canes, allowing just one earned run in five innings of action on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He would also chip in a sacrifice fly on the offensive side of the ball as part of the four-run second. “[My offense] gives me a lot of confidence. At the start, I was just kind of sitting on my fastball,” Brown said. “Then I got my curveball and started throwing it first pitch and getting ahead every time. Then my changeup got on and I started throwing that a lot.”
The win means that Canes Simpson will be able to use less pitching going into the title game as opposed to their future opponent, who will have to play early Monday morning before the championship round. “It’s big for us,” coach Simpson said. “Now we’re sitting on some good arms for the championship game tomorrow.”
In the 15U Summer Nationals Championship division, Inside Edge Carter knocked off Diamond Elite 15s, 2-0, in the winner’s bracket finale to move on to the championship round. They will face the winner of Monday morning’s contest between Diamond Elite and WV Sting 15U.