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Bulldogs edge out Cougars for title

Stephanie King

After a couple days of rest, the ATMS Bulldogs and the SWRMS Cougars met at New Market Civitan Park to decide a winner in the 2018 Middle School Baseball Tournament. ATMS battled to a win over RMS on Friday in the semifinals while SWRMS took down NERMS.

ATMS got off to a hot start as they forced the Cougars to go three up, three down in the top of the first inning. The bottom of the inning saw the Bulldogs put three runs on the board for the early lead. Rylan Smith led off the inning with a double to right field before the Cougars got their first out of the inning. An infield single from Ben Walker brought Smith in for the first run of the night. Landon Mosley and Reigo Rodriguez drew back to back walks to load the bases for the Bulldogs. Walker scored off a single from Jake Little to put the Bulldogs up 2-0. Mosley almost made it 3-0 off a single from Travis Hurt, but he would be thrown out at home for out number two. Cameron Hinson brought in Rodriguez with a single. Hinson would be thrown out at second for out number three off a hit from Mason Rich. After one complete inning, ATMS led 3-0.

The Bulldogs opened the top of the second with a strikeout before allowing the Cougars to load the bases. Landon Williamson singled to center, Easton Clapp reached on a wild pitch, and Adam Cole drew a walk. Eli Gravely struck out for the second out of the inning. Brody Beason put the Cougars on the board when he singled to score Williamson and Clapp. The Cougars would tie the game at 3 all as Cole scored on a wild throw to first. Bryson Reid drew a walk but was left stranded long with Beason as the Bulldogs got the final out of the inning. Smith started off the bottom of the inning with a single to center but the Cougars left him stranded as Ethan Gravely struck out three straight batters to end the inning. This one was all tied up at 3 all after two innings of play.

SWRMS would pull ahead in the top of the third as they brought in three runs. Tyler Parks had his hit caught for out number one. Ethan Gravely doubled to put a runner in scoring position for the Cougars. Williamson struck out for out number two, but a stand up double from Clapp would score Gravely to give the Cougars the lead. Cole singled to score Clapp before Eli Gravely was thrown out at first out number three. ATMS tried to reclaim the lead in the bottom of the inning, but they could get only one runner on base and left him stranded. After three innings, SWRMS led 5 to 3.

It would be another one, two, three inning for the Cougars in the top of the fourth as the Bulldogs looked to reclaim or at least tie the game. SWRMS got a quick out to start the bottom of the fourth before giving up a single to Smith. He would score off a single from Rob Hales to cut the lead to 5-4. Walker picked up another single as Hales was thrown out at second for out number two. A single from Mosley put runners on first and second as Rodriguez stepped to the plate. His single would score Walker and tie the at 5 all. The Cougars picked up out number three, leaving two runners stranded. After four complete innings this one was all tied up at 5.

ATMS would force the Cougars to go three up, three down once again in the top of the fifth. The Bulldogs would put two runners on base early in the first as Hurt singled to center and Hinson beat the throw to first on a bunt. Rich laid down a bunt and reached first as Hurt was thrown out at third for out number one. A triple from Smith scored both Hinson and Rich to put the Bulldogs back in control 7-5. Smith ended up scoring moments later on a passed ball to make it an 8-5 game. SWRMS got back to back outs to end the inning. After five innings of play, ATMS led 8 to 5.

Clapp would single to right to start the top of the sixth before the Bulldogs got the first out of the inning. A sacrifice fly from Eli Gravely would score Clapp and cut the lead to 8-6. ATMS would get the final out of the inning to keep the Cougars from scoring again. The Bulldogs put runners on first and second to start the bottom of the inning, but both would be left stranded as the Cougars got three straight outs to end the inning. ATMS led 8-6 after six innings of play.

Heading into the top of the seventh the Cougars had one shot to try and extend the game. Bryson Reid got things started with a lead off double before Luke White drew a walk to put runners on first and second. ATMS would get a little breathing room as they turned a double play for the first two outs of the inning. Parks had his hit caught for out number one and the Bulldogs made the play at second to throw out White for out number two. A two-out double from Ethan Gravely would score Reid and cut the lead to one. The Bulldogs’ Mosley would strikeout Williamson for the final out of the game and secure the 8-6 win for ATMS.

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