For a Colt League All-Star team that just had two practices to prepare for a playoff game, you wouldn’t have known it based on the Green All-Stars dominant 12-2 win over Kempville in the first round of the state tournament at Jaycee Park’s Stoner-White Stadium in Greensboro on Wednesday afternoon.
The team, comprised of Colt League All-Stars from Guilford, Rockingham and Alamance Counties, secured the victory with solid pitching, good defense and timely hitting throughout the day.
To get things started, Paddy McGonigal got on with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, and after advancing to third, Ryne Rodrigues brought him home on a sacrifice for the 1-0 lead.
Kempsville tied things up at 1-1 in the top of the second frame, but then the momentum would shift in favor of the Green once again.
In the bottom of the second, Ryan Loscke blasted a deep shot to centerfield for a stand up double, then Greyson Tudor followed up with a double of his own to put runners on second and third with no outs. A sacrifice plated another run, then an RBI double by Blake Freeman scored two more to increase the Greensboro lead to 4-1 heading into the third.
Ultimately, it was the third inning that proved to be the death nail for Kempsville, as the Green hit the gas and scored eight runs to virtually put the game away with a 12-1 cushion. The Blue looked like they were done in the top of the fourth as Greensboro starting pitcher Win Scott had Kempsville in a two out hole with no men on base, but a pair of errors in the field by the Green eventually loaded the bases. Later, a pass ball at the plate sent the Blue runner on third screaming towards home. Tudor, the Green catcher, quickly corralled the ball and made the flip to Scott covering home. Scott appeared to make the bang-bang play at the plate for what would have been the final out of the frame, but the umpired called him safe which cut the Green advantage to 12-2.
It turned out to be too little, too late though, as Greensboro brought in reliever Ben Kaiser in the fifth who helped secure the final three outs to close out the game on the 10 runs in five inning slaughter rule.
Scott, a rising junior at Ragsdale, picked up the victory on the mound for Greensboro. He got into several jams with runners in scoring position over the course of the game, but either he bailed himself out with a strike out, or his defense backed him up to keep the Kempsville Blue All-Stars at bay.
Win pounded the zone with his fast ball, curve and changeup which kept the Blue guessing pretty much all afternoon.
Green head coach Bret Garrett, who is an assistant at Grimsley High School during the regular season, said putting together a All-Star team that gels in such a tight window presents its own set of challenges, but he felt confident going into the game he had the horses to get the job done.
“It’s actually tough for the first couple of games trying to figure out different players capabilities, where they fit best. It makes it tough, but we try to do the best that we can and we’ll just live with it whichever way that it goes,” Garrett said.
With the win, the Greensboro All-Stars advance to take on the winner of the Bronx versus Johnstown game on Thursday. The Green game will be played on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Jaycee Park’s Stoner-White Stadium in Greensboro.
K 0 1 0 1 0 2 3 1
G 1 3 8 0 X 12 11 2