by Jason Hanes
A 3-for-3 performance with six RBI from Thomas Wilson helped lift Virginia Venom-Neighbor to a 14-3 victory over the Myrtle Beach Heat in 12u pool play at the Triple Crown Summer Nationals Wednesday afternoon in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Wilson helped his team to a 4-0 lead in the first inning when he launched a three-run shot over the fence in right-center. He would come through with a two-out RBI double in the top of the third to make it 6-3, then in the fourth, his two-run single into shallow right stretched the advantage to 13-3.
“It’s a good feeling contributing to the team,” Wilson said after his big game. “I want to play the rest of this week better than I played this game.”
“We’re looking good early,” said Virginia Venom head coach Shawn Neighbor. “It’s pool play. It’s early on, and we’re going to keep doing what we do and hopefully the ball keeps bouncing our way. Pitching has been good and the defense has been great. We’ve got a lot of arms left in the tank for tomorrow.”
Coach Neighbor was impressed with one action his team was taking at the plate throughout the two games. “We’re trying to hit the ball to the opposite field,” Neighbor said. “We’re going up there trying to hit it to the opposite field every time.”
Most of the hits for Virginia Venom were to center or right field, including Wilson’s three-run homer. Malcolm Forbes had a two-run ground rule double to right field as part of an eight-run fourth inning that put the game away. Nile Gammon also added three RBI on the afternoon for the team from Williamsburg, Va.
The Venom beat Diamond USA (Tennessee), 10-0, earlier on Wednesday. There are two other teams that won both their games on the day, the Carolina Bombsquad (SC) and the Ohio Spiders.
Wilson also worked on the mound for his squad, which is where he prefers to be. When given a choice between hitting and pitching, Wilson chose the bump. “It’s fun!” he exclaimed.