|AAYBA World Series – Texas Barracudas vs SIII All Out|
By Robert Thomas
FLOWER MOUND -- Delays and weather pushed the 10-and-under Platinum 'A' Division final between the Texas Barracudas (
And as it turned out, it was the Barracudas that ran away with the Cinderella ending with a decisive 10-2 run-rule win at the AAYBA World Series at
The Barracudas rallied back from early 2-0 deficit to win, using an eight-run sixth inning and eight stolen bases to help run away with the Platinum 'A' championship.
"I am so very proud of these guys, they came up with a lot of big moments during this entire tournament," said Barracudas coach Josh Wilson. "We won games three times this week when we trailed later and these guys just never quit no matter what the situation."
The game was close throughout, with the score being knotted at 2-2 going into the bottom of the sixth. But that was when the Barracudas made their move, combining great speed and thunderous power to put the game away.
Dru Baker started the game-winning rally by getting on by error, and moved all the way to third base on two balk calls. Baker then brought the crowd to its feet by stealing home, giving the Barracudas its first lead of the night at 3-2.
"We never call those plays, the kids just see the situation and react to it,"
The inning continued at Garrett Grier (3-for-3) singled and moved to third on a grounder by Blake Wilson. Jason Michels followed that with a walk, with Colton Cowser (3-for-3) lining a single to plate Grier. Michels then scampered home on a throwing error after the single for a 5-2 lead.
Walks to Korey Holland and Trent Gough loaded the bases with one out, with Jacob Crawford getting an RBI when hit by a pitch to force in a run. That brought to the plate Cole Blanton as he had a chance to put the game away with a big hit.
Blanton did just that, crushing a curveball deep over the left field fence for a grand slam home run to end the game and start a wild celebration by the Barracudas.
"We don't hit a lot of home runs, but we get plenty out of the ones we do hit,"
While the offense came through in the clutch, Crawford did his job well as the team's starting pitcher. Crawford pitched a complete game, striking out five and scattered five hits in six innings.
"Jacob is just a workhorse on the mound,"
The game was a tight affair during the early innings, with the game scoreless through three innings. The All Out squad, however changed that with a pair of runs in the fourth inning for a 2-0 lead.
An RBI double from Ross Perez and a run-scoring single by Nathan Salinas powered the frame for the All Out squad, plating Jeffery Boggess and Perez, respectively.
The Barracudas scratched back for a run in the bottom of the fourth, as Grier singled with one out and stole second, third and home to score.
The fifth inning then saw the Barracudas tie the game at 2-2, as Gough laid down a perfect bunt single to allow Cowser to score from third base.
That helped set the stage for the amazing sixth inning that propelled the Barracudas to the championship.