MARIETTA, Ga. - The Lids Indiana Bulls Black have shown that they have all the tools it takes to win a lot of baseball games: pitching, hitting, and fielding. It has taken all three tools to win their first four 2013 15u WWBA National Championship games.
After winning their first three games by wide margins, Indiana had to rely a little more on pitching and fielding today when the hitting wasn’t quite there. In a low scoring game against the MBA Pride Elite, Indiana came out on top by a final score of just 2-0.
“I thought our guys, defensively, really stepped up behind our pitchers and had a couple big plays that got us out of innings that could’ve produced some runs for them,” Indiana coach Jeff Scott said.
A couple of key plays kept MBA off the board. In the first inning left fielder Cody Razer was able to catch a fly ball and throw a one hopper to home plate to prevent a run and end an early rally. After that, it was smooth sailing for Indiana and MBA wouldn’t really threaten again.
The defense was solid, but the offense struggled a bit compared to their first three games.
“This is probably the best pitcher that we’ve faced so far since we’ve been here,” Scott said of MBA Pride Elite hurler Davis Daniel. “It challenged us a little more offensively.”
“We came up with some timely hits and we had some good defense to get us out of jams,” Scott said about the keys to this win.
The Bulls Black scored their first run in the bottom on a second off of a passed ball. First baseman Matt Bertram delivered the only extra-base hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth to drive in the second and final run of the game.
Logan Ames threw 4.1 innings of shutout baseball for Indiana, surrendering just three hits and two walks. Craig Shepherd cam in to pitch the final 2.2 innings and kept MBA quiet, giving up just one hit in the relief effort.
TJ Collett has been the offensive star for Indiana thus far. He collected another base hit today and is now 8-for-13 in the tournament with three double, two triples, a grand slam, and nine RBI.
“Before this tournament, I’ve really gotten around the ball, really out in front, so I started focusing on hitting the inside of the ball and just trying to hit the ball hard,” Collett said. “I just wanna hit the ball harder than anyone else.”
He has hit the ball very hard in the tournament so far. His single today registered 94 mph off the bat.
Collett and the Lids Indiana Bulls Black are 4-0 after Day 3 of the tournament, outscoring their opponents 37-3.
“As a team, we’re playing some good baseball, but I still don’t think we’ve seen our best yet,” said Collett.
Scott seems to be pleased with his team’s performance to this point. “We’re swinging the bats well, we’re getting good pitching, (and) our defense is solid,” he said. “We’ve really executed a lot of things well with bunts and hit-and-runs and we’ve run the bases well.”
The Bulls Black are one of only a limited number of teams that have not yet lost. They play again Monday at Sprayberry High School at 9am ET against Team All American.