|13U- Super Series 16 (TX)- FM Warriors vs. Blue Sox|
Flower Mound Warriors refuse to lose, storm back against top-seeded Blue Sox
By Devin Hasson
McKINNEY--Things did not look good for the Flower Mound Warriors. The Warriors had been dominated for four innings in Wednesday’s bracket play by the same Blue Sox squad that had handed them a 10-0 defeat just two days earlier during pool play. But Flower Mound refused to let that bit of recent history or a 7-0 deficit stand in its way of playing another day. The Warriors came to life in the late innings, storming back to take the lead and then holding on for a 9-8 victory in an elimination game of the 13U Super Series Super 16 World Series at The Ballfields at Craig Ranch in McKinney.
Flower Mound had lost its bracket-round opener on Tuesday, but the win over the Blue Sox was its second straight with elimination on the line. “I told them, this is it, this is what you play for and either you stop playing today or you live to play another day,” Flower Mound coach Keith Jackson said. “It would definitely hurt all of us if we go out today considering we just won the state championship. I told them let’s go be the last Metroplex team still standing.” The Warriors had done next to nothing on offense through four innings, as Brandon Maine’s two-out walk in the first inning was the lone base runner to that point. The Blue Sox, meanwhile, scored six times in the top of the third inning and tacked on another run in the fourth to seemingly take control with a 7-0 lead.
While his team had been held without a hit up until that point, Jackson remained confident in his team. “I told them to keep hacking up there,” he said. “We’ve got great pitching and I knew if we could get it close like we’ve done all year we would make the most of the opportunity. We were swinging the bat well early, we were just missing, I knew that once we started hitting the ball, it would build from there.”
The comeback started in the bottom of the fifth when Connor McMann and Seth Jordan laced back-to-back singles. With one out, the Warriors got on the scoreboard on a RBI double to right by A.J. Chalupka and Kelly Dorsett followed with a two-run single to close to within 7-3. After a pitching change, Flower Mound drew to within 7-4 when Stefan Szymankiewicz singled home a run. The Warriors went back to work in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Maine started the frame by blasting a home run on the scoreboard in right field. McMann doubled, Jordan was hit by a pitch and Chalupka blooped a single to right to load the bases with no outs. That set the stage for Jake Whitson, who tied the game at 7-7 with a two-run single to left. Dorsett followed with another huge hit as his double down the left-field line gave the Warriors a 9-7 lead.
Flower Mound left the bases loaded to end the inning, but McMann made sure the lead would hold up. McMann, who entered the game in relief to start the fifth inning, did give up one run as the Blue Sox closed to within 9-8, but he retired the final three batters with the tying run in scoring position as the Warriors kept their tournament championship hopes alive. “It’s huge,” Jackson said. “These boys play well; we’ve got some great pitching, some great athletes. We’ve been up and down all year, we’ve beaten some great teams and lost against some great teams, but we’ve been playing just good enough and this could be just what I needed for momentum. “It shows them that it is not over until it is over. Being able to finish games has kind of been our Achilles heal and this shows we’re going to play from one to seven (innings) and if they do that, we can beat any team out here.”