Tournaments : : Story
Sunday, October 11, 2009

Middleton's clutch hit lifts FTB Mizuno

Jim Ecker        
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Clay Middleton was invited to play for FTB Mizuno in the WWBA Underclass World Championship because a regular member of the team got hurt. He's making the most of his opportunity and proving it was a smart decision.
 
Middleton sliced a two-run double to right field in the top of the seventh inning Sunday afternoon to snap a 2-2 tie and help FTB Mizuno defeat the NVTBL Stars, 6-2, in the second round of the playoffs at Terry Park.
 
Middleton strode to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh against NVTBL hurler Lance Veeder, who was pitching a strong game with mid-80s fastballs and a nice breaking ball. Middleton was ready for the challenge.
 
"I was kind of thinking curveball, but he threw me a fastball," Middleton said. "I was down 1-2 (in the count) and I figured he'd throw me a curveball. It was a fastball, high and out."
 
Middleton poked the ball down the right-field line, driving in Vicente Conde and Tyler Neuhaus with the go-ahead runs. Mizuno scored two more runs in the inning for a 6-2 lead and made it hold up.
 
The NVTBL Stars, comprised of players from Virginia and Maryland, committed three errors in the top of the seventh inning. Middleton had the only hit as his team scored four unearned runs.
 
"They're a very solid defensive team, so it was surprising to me that they kicked it around a little bit," said FTB Mizuno Coach Jered Goodwin. "We just got a break when we needed it."
 
The FTB in FTB Mizuno stands for Florida Travel Ball, and they earned a date in the quarterfinals against the Florida Mustangs. Both teams know each other well and were looking forward to the matchup on Sunday, with a berth in the semifinals of the 100-team tournament at stake.
 
Both Florida teams were headed for their third game of the day Sunday in the quarterfinals. Fortunately, the skies became overcast Sunday afternoon to diminish some of the oppressive heat and humidity, but it was still a sticky day.
 
"We've done the three-games-in-a-day thing in Perfect Game (events) before, and it's tough," said Goodwin.  "It's going to be who's more mentally prepared and it's going to be, really, who's got the most pitching left. It's going to be fun."
 
Middleton played second base in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday, then moved behind the plate in the second round and did a solid job. "He's been good all weekend," said Goodwin. "He's done a great job of catching and playing the field."
 
Middleton had a filthy uniform Sunday afternoon, but was having a great time. "I'm pretty excited," he said. "The adrenaline is kicking in. I like it."
 
Jose Ortega pitched four strong innings in relief for FTB Mizuno to get the win. He allowed only one unearned run, struck out four batters and scattered four hits.
Most Viewed Related Articles
Weather Update - Jupiter
Update for playing conditions at the WWBA World Championship. READ 
World Championship Pool Preview
Pool-by-pool the teams, and talent, of the 2017 WWBA World Championship are previewed, as Will Banfield will look to emerge a... READ 
2017 Underclass World Bracket
Bracket READ 
WWBA World Championship Bracket
Bracket READ 
Recent Related Articles
2018 Tournament Schedule
Click here to view the PG tournament schedule for the 2018 season, starting with the MLK events in January and continuing thr... READ 
13u Fall World Series All-Tourney
The All-Tournament Team for the 2017 PG 13u Fall World Series, held November 4-5 in Emerson, Ga., is now available and includ... READ 
14u Fall World Series All-Tourney
The All-Tournament Team from the 2017 PG 14u Fall World Series, held November 3-5 in Emerson, Georgia, is now available. READ 
Fall World Series titles claimed
Elite Squad Prime 2022 (p) and the Kangaroo Court Roos claimed the championships at the inaugural 14u and 13u PG Fall World S... READ 
2017 PG tournament recap
PG All-American Xavier Edwards was named the MVP after helping the Canes 17u capture the title at the 17u PG WWBA National Ch... READ 
13U Fall World Series Bracket
Bracket READ 
 

About Perfect Game :: Contact us :: Terms of Use :: Privacy Policy :: Site Map :: Testimonials
Copyright 1994-2017 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.