Mid-County licks Kentucky team, seals pool

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017

By Steven Smith
Special to The News

EPHRATA, Wash. – Three games into the 2017 Senior Babe Ruth World Series, the Mid-County club finds itself exactly where it wants to be.

The Southwest regional champions are one win away from a perfect record in pool play, and have already clinched the No. 1 spot in the national division at the event being played at Johnson-O’Brien Stadium. Mid-County locked in the top position on Tuesday with a 13-3 win over Blue Lick, Kentucky, the Ohio Valley regional winners.

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Mid-County starts its final game of pool play at 1 p.m. today, facing the Pacific Southwest regional champions from Tucson, Arizona. Even if the Texans slip, they will still move straight to semifinal round on Friday at 9:30 p.m.

Mid-County manager Ben Rogers said his team is feeling good about the position they’ve played their way into, but as far as who will pitch in the pool finale against Tucson, it’s still up-in-the-air.

“It might just be ‘Johnny Whole-Staff;’ we’re just not sure,” said the Texas field boss, with a laugh. “We’re going to have all the arms rested for Friday and Saturday, so we are right where we wanted to be. We knew it wouldn’t be easy because there’s a lot of good team here, but we’ve played some good baseball.”

Tuesday’s win against Blue Lick was close for an inning, and Mid-County missed an opportunity early in the second to score when Conor McGrath got caught in a rundown at home plate. But after that, the offense kicked in, with a little help of Blue Lick pitcher Kevin McKnight – with the bases loaded, McKnight fake a throw to first base without stepping off the pitching rubber and was called for the balk, sending Zack Clark home for the first run.

After that, two walks, three Blue Lick error and hits by Jacob Vaughan, Kody Kolb and Logan LeJeune all contributed to seven Mid-County runs in the second frame.

Blue Lick did try battling back, scoring a single run in the third inning and cutting the deficit to 7-3 with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. But Mid-County got the offense going again in the fifth inning when Case Babino drove in one run and Brandon Morse hit a two-run single to push the Texans back out to a 11-3 lead.

MC then ended the game on the 10-run mercy rule in the sixth inning when LeJeune singled to opening the panel, Devaun Anderson got on base by getting hit by a pitch, and Burke Badon slapped a two-run double for the final runs of the game.