By Jason Hanes
After a tight, nervy 2-0 game the day before in the winner’s bracket finale against Diamond Elite 15U, Inside Edge Carter took advantage of an eight-run third inning to pull away for a 9-5 victory, clinching the championship in 15U at the Myrtle Beach Summer Nationals Monday afternoon.
“We had good pitching,” said Inside Edge head coach Mike Carter. “The last four or five games, we’ve had good pitching. Our bats kind of struggled here and there, but we picked each other up. We played [Diamond Elite] twice, and yesterday was a really good game. Today, we came out hitting.”
Trailing 4-1 entering the bottom of the third, Inside Edge Carter flipped the game on its head with an eight-spot. Collin Dobson, who was named his team’s MVP for the tournament, started the scoring with a bases-clearing double to tie the game, 4-4. “I was just trying to put the ball in play to get something going for my team really,” Dobson said. “I was just trying to get a run or something to help my team at least.”
One batter later, Cooper Hudson put his team on top with a two-run homer to center. “After [Collin] gave me a little bit of motivation to go up there and do something, and after a first-pitch ball, I knew he was going to come back with a fastball,” Hudson said of his at-bat. “He just put it right in my wheelhouse and I put a good swing on it and saw it lift off.”
After a costly error for Diamond Elite put two runners on with two out later in the frame, Jax Fosnow delivered the rest of the runs Inside Edge would need. “After both of their great at-bats, I wanted to hit it off,” Fosnow said. “[The pitcher] threw me a hanging curveball and I ripped it.” The three-run blast of Fosnow’s bat made it a 9-4 lead.
The big inning led to a noticeable shift in the momentum and energy on the field. “It changed the complexion and intensity of the game,” Hudson said. “It put it on our side and gave us all of the energy. It was just flawless after that.”
“Our bats started going, our defense worked well together,” Dobson said. “It was just a good game all around.”
Diamond Elite would threaten, scoring a run in the sixth. But the defense of Inside Edge Carter would help carry the day by turning double plays in the sixth and the seventh, with the last one closing out the game in style.
The tournament marked the end of a long season of growth for Inside Edge Carter. “We were down here for five days,” coach Carter said. “The parents wanted to come down and go on a little bit of a vacation. This just topped it all off. This was everything.”