Boys Minors Americans hold off Smethport/Mt. Jewett for 8-7 win
The Warren Boys Minors Americans used timely hitting and aggressive baserunning to edge out Smethport, 8-7, on Monday at Betts Jackson Field.
Warren, now 2-0 in the Tournament, came out of the gate strong. Bryce Blair started the game on the mound for the Americans and struck out the side in the top of the first inning. Blair then helped his own cause by reaching base on a single, advancing on a passed ball, and coming in to score when Payton Barnes roped an RBI single. Barnes’ hit gave the hosts a 1-0 lead after the opening frame.
After a scoreless second inning for both teams, Smethport put together a rally in the top of the third. The visitors scored three runs on four hits to take a two run lead.
Warren wasted no time re-claiming the lead. Blair led off the inning by reaching on an error, and then stole second base. Conner Cummings then chased Blair home with an RBI single, and advanced to second when Smethport unsuccessfully attempted to cut Blair down at the plate. After Cummings stole third, Justin Rich walked, and immediately stole second. Carson Farr then put the Americans back in the lead when he drilled a two-run single to center field.
Smethport tied the game in the top of the fourth inning with a single run, but left the bases loaded after Ben White made a nice catch in deep center field to keep the game tied at four runs apiece.
White was the first batter for Warren in the bottom half of the inning. After White drew a walk and stole second, Blair singled to put runners on the corners. Teagen Gray then hit a sharp ground ball that was misplayed, allowing White to score and Blair to advance to third. Gray then stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch that allowed Blair to trot home. Cummings then added his second RBI single of the game, knocking Gray in. Barnes followed by smashing an RBI double, his second RBI hit of the game, scoring Cummings and putting the finishing touches on Warren’s four run inning.
Smethport again closed the gap in the top of the fifth inning, scoring three runs on three hits to cut the deficit to a single run at 8-7.
Warren went down in order in the bottom of the fifth, but Kael Hunt struck out the side in the top of the sixth to preserve the lead and send the Americans home victorious.
Blair pitched three and two-thirds innings for Warren, striking out seven Smethport batters while allowing six hits. Barnes, who was credited with the win, relieved Blair and pitched one-third of an inning. Hunt then pitched the game’s final two innings, and was credited with the save.
Cummings, Blair, and Barnes led the Warren offense with two hits apiece. The Americans were dominant on the basepaths, stealing five bases and advancing on wild pitches seven times.
The Americans will return to action on Saturday, when they visit Dubois in the Winner’s Bracket finals.
Smethport003 130 – 7 9 3
Warren Americans103 40x – 8 7 1
2b- Payton Barnes (W), Alexis (S), Shull (S). 3b- Lent (S). Wp- Barnes, Lp- Johnson.