Carla Harris, special correspondent
Byng ace Reid Wall struck out eight and scattered three hits to help the Class A No. 2 Pirates knock off No. 3 Silo 6-1 Friday night in the semifinals of the 2013 Latta Invitational.
In another semifinal game, Class B No. 2 Asher upset Class A No. 1 Dale 7-4 to move into a Saturday evening championship contest with Byng.
In consolation play, Stonewall defeated Tupelo 10-2 and host Latta turned back Rock Creek 5-3.
Byng 6, Silo 1
Wall was just too much for the Silo Rebels in the first semifinal matchup. In addition to his sparkling mound performance, he also added a two-run homer over to right center to help his cause.
Byng got on the board in the bottom of the third. Darian Luper was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on a single by Hunter Capps. Luper then scored on a passed ball for a 1-0 lead. Capps then stole second, and Braden Fortner was walked. A Silo error allowed both Capps and Fortner to score as the Byng cushion went to 3-0.
Silo put a single run up during the top half of the fourth. Andrew Bolin drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a single by Leonard Sandler and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jarris Hamilton to cut the Pirate lead to 3-1.
Byng added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Joe Nemecek received a base on balls, and Wall then hit his two-run blast to extend Byng’s lead to 5-1.
The Pirates tacked on another insurance run in the sixth. Capps was hit by a pitch and later scored off an RBI double by Fortner.
Wall did allow a two-out single in the seventh, but he struck out the final batter to end the game and move the Pirates into the championship contest.
“It was a great performance by Reid. He dominated on the mound,” said Byng head coach Shawn Streater. “Our defense was solid, and we scored when we needed to.”
Wall finished 2-for-3, while Capps went 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
Asher 7, Dale 4
Folks who stayed around for the late game of the night got their money’s worth as the two Pottawatomie County teams battled from start to finish.
Dale got on the scoreboard first with a run in their initial at-bats.
Gunnar Hathcock reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on a single by Chase Byndas. Hathcock and Byndas had the double steal to move to second and third. Jace Wilkins then singled to knock in Hathcock for a 1-0 lead.
Asher came back in the bottom of the second. Trucker Lee led off with a double to right, and Phillip Leon followed up with a single. Corey Holman was then walked to load the bases. Ryan Pybas also walked to force in Asher’s first run. Caleb Dubler then hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Holman for a 2-1 Indian lead.
Asher’s lead was short-lived, as Dale tied it up in the top of the third. Lane Cox was hit by a pitch and later scored by a fielder’s choice to tie the score at 2-all.
In the bottom of the fourth, Asher took the lead for good. Phillip Leon singled, and Colby Carpenter came in to run for Leon. He advanced to second and third on passed balls. Holman then singled to drive in a run. Dubler was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Tim Johnson then hit a clutch two-RBI double and pushed the lead to 5-2.
Dale failed to give up, though, as they rallied in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Tanner Nelson was hit by a pitch. Hathcock followed with a single before Byndas hit a fly ball to center that was overrun, allowing both runners to score to bring Dale within one at 5-4. With the tying run at second, Jace Wilkins flew out to center to end that threat.
Asher added a run in the fifth when Tanner Andrews hit a solo shot over the left field wall. The Indians tacked on another run in the sixth after Dubler reached on an error and scored on a single by Johnson.
Dubler got the win on the mound as he finished the seventh inning strong, striking out two of the three batters he faced. He had eight total strikeouts and allowed five hits.
“Win or lose, that's the competition that someone has to see on a daily basis to be successful and be a winner,” said Asher head man Shane Coker.
For the game, Johnson finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Andrews went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Leon finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Holman was 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI.
Stonewall 10, Tupelo 2
A six-run fifth inning blew open a close game as Stonewall run-ruled Tupelo.
Stonewall put two runs on the board in the bottom of the second. Gage Burns and Dustin Hayes both walked and later scored on a single by Dakota Teel.
Tupelo answered in the top of the third with a single run. Corey McCollum singled as did Chisum Henry. Luke Leland also singled and drove in McCollum to cut the lead to 2-1.
Stonewall added another run in the bottom of the fourth. Burns doubled and then scored on an RBI single by Hayes.
Tupelo pulled to within one run in the top of the fifth. Henry was hit by a pitch and scored via a Tristan Hogue RBI single.
In the bottom of the fifth, Stonewall had six hits and scored six runs to push the lead to 9-2. Tyler Campise started with a single and Tanner Dees followed with an RBI double. Austin Berry also doubled to drive in a run. Chase Findley added an RBI single, while pinch-hitter July Sawyer had an RBI on a sacrifice to account for the Longhorn runs.
In the sixth, Stonewall added their final run after Berry walked and then scored on a single by Burns.
Findley got the win on the mound for the Longhorns, striking out 10 in six innings of work.
Latta 5, Rock Creek 3
Latta had runners in scoring position in the second and third innings, but could not manage to get a run across the plate.
However, in the top of the fourth, the Panthers pushed across three runs.
Treston Tully was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Tristan Wood reached on an error and Tully scored. Michael Alexander then singled. Tristan Monroe used a sacrifice bunt to move both base runners into scoring position. Brady Johnson then had a two RBI single to give Latta a 3-0 lead.
The Panthers added two more runs in the top of the fifth. Kade Hayes started the inning with a solo home run. Parker Henderson reached on an error and stole second and scored on an RBI hit by Wood that boosted the LHS advantage to 5-0.
Rock Creek got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Tanner McCann reached base on an error, and later scored on a fielder’s choice.
In the bottom of the seventh, Rock Creek saw a rally fall short.
With two outs, McCann once again reached on an error. Zack Cook then singled. Josh Eiler was walked to load the bases. Cameron Hammond then hit an RBI single to put the score at 5-2. With the bases loaded, Cook scored on a balk before Tully retired the final Mustang batter to end the game.
Kade Hayes earned the win on the mound for the Panthers as he struck out eight in six innings. Hayes also went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Michael Alexander was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with a run scored.