By Jason Hanes
After a tough start to play at the Myrtle Beach Summer Nationals, Mass Rebels 15U got going in the Pelican Bracket Saturday afternoon, winning 13-4 over All Pro Stars and 6-0 over Commonwealth Baseball Club to advance to the winner’s bracket finale Sunday afternoon.
“We didn’t play well the first couple of days,” said Mass Rebels head coach Freddie Canuel. “It wasn’t our style of baseball. Tonight, we got some timely hitting and good defense and great pitching.”
Led by starting pitcher Luke Gomes in the first game, Mass Rebels earned a 13-4 win in their first game of the day. “We just needed to win,” Gomes said. “Without a win, we’d have to go home and no one wants to go home this early.”
In the second game of the day, Mass Rebels faced a Commonwealth Baseball Club squad that hadn’t played yet Saturday thanks to seeding. However, six shutout innings on the mound by Alex Madieros kept Commonwealth Baseball at bay and helped his side to a 6-0 win.
“My fastball felt good. My location felt good,” said Alex Madieros. “My offspeed wasn’t good, but it got there towards the end. Just overall, I had good location.”
Madieros allowed just five hits in six innings of work while walking one and fanning six. “He’s been one of our more resilient, dependable pitchers this season,” Canuel said. “He was just solid keeping the batters off-balance.”
All the offense Madieros would need came in the third inning. A sacrifice fly led off the scoring in the first, while a single by Jayden Coburn one batter later added a second run to the tally. A bases loaded walk with two out would make it 3-0, but the big blow of the inning came when Madieros singled to left to drive in two runs, making it 5-0.
An insurance run came home in the sixth when, after two wild pitches put a man on third, Josh Garcia singled to center to bring home the sixth run of the contest.
Mass Rebels now find themselves potentially two wins away from winning the Pelican Bracket in the 15U division. “It’s always motivation every year to come out to compete to win,” said coach Canuel. “At the end of the day, if there’s a championship to win, we’ll take it. But, they come out to play for themselves and the team.”