New England Blasts Mid Atlantic 12-2
New England had its second big-bat victory as it cruised past Mid-Atlantic 12-2. The team has outscored its opponents 26-8 in the last two games.
The team tallied nine total hits, scoring five runs in the bottom first and pulling away with four scores in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Troy Ashkinos (2-2) led the way with five RBIs, highlighted by a grand slam in the fourth inning and an RBI single in the fifth. Michael Iannazzo was a major contributor as well, hitting 2-3 along with a walk, stolen base and three runs scored. Matthew Vivona (1-2, 2 runs scored) drove in two runs with a double, and additional RBIs were from Leo Randazzo (1-2) and Aidan Rivera (1-2, 2 runs scored). Owen Kalagher, Andrew Cutler and Ethan Righter also recorded hits.
Pitcher Ethan Righter got the win, throwing for 4.2 innings and striking out eight while allowing just three hits and three walks.
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For Mid-Atlantic, Chris Cartnick went 2-3 with a double, Dean Daddio (1-1, 1 walk) had an RBI single and Mike Arent hit a single.
Japan Freezes Canada 10-0
Japan overpowered Canada 10-0 with its pitching, hitting and fielding firing on all cylinders. Pitcher Tsubasa Tomii had a deadly breaking ball that struck five batters over three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Ryuto Konno and Yuya Nakajima combined to keep Canada hitless and off the scoreboard, with Konno adding two more strikeouts. All three pitchers were aided tremendously by the team’s sharp and slick fielding, playing error-free ball.
At the plate, Japan had 11 total hits, with Natsuki Yajima (3-3, 3 runs) and Yuya Nakajima (1-2) both bashing home runs, with three RBIs each. Ryusei Fujiwara (1-3, 1 RBI), Riku Goto (1-2, 1 RBI) and Ryota Ono (2-2, 1 RBI, 2 runs) all doubled.
For Canada, Ty Fluet got the lone hit, also getting on base with a walk. Reece Usselman pitched the first 2.1 innings, recording five strikeouts.
Teams from Japan have made five appearances in the Finals since 2010, going 4-1. This team has outscored its last three opponents 22-1 and stands a very good chance of making it again.
Southeast Edges out Southwest 2-1
Both Southeast and Southwest put on masterful pitching performances under the lights last night, but Southeast scored in extra innings to win 2-1.
The teams combined for a mind-boggling 22 strikeouts, with Southeast totaling 14. The team took a first-inning lead when Carson Hardee (2-2, 1 walk) drilled a line-drive home run over the center field fence.
Southwest tied the score in the top of the third, with Chandler Spencer scoring pinch-runner Zach Phipps on a fielder’s choice. He was running for Mark Requena (1-1) after he hit a double.
With the score tied 1-1, both teams settled in for three innings of stout defense and outstanding pitching.
On the mound, Southeast’s Chase Anderson threw 2.2 innings with two Ks. Winning pitcher Matthew Matthijs struck out 12 over 4.1 innings with no walks and kept Southwest hitless the rest of the game. Southwest’s Hunter Ditsworth struck out eight in five innings.
Despite singles by Southeast’s Cameron Greenway (2-3), Bryce Jackson (1-3), Hardee and Thomas Barrett (1-4), Southeast was stymied by the Southwest infield of Requena (1B), Malcolm Deason (2B), Chip Buchanan (3B) and Blake Slaga (SS), in addition to the pitching of Ditsworth. Southwest’s infield wasn’t as busy, since Matthijs was piling up the strikeouts, and he made a ground-out play.
In the bottom sixth with two outs, Southeast’s fans were on their feet briefly when Jackson hit a deep fly ball to center, but Southwest center fielder Collin Ross caught the would-be home run.
After Matthijs struck out the side in the top seventh, Cash Daniels-Moye reached first on an error, then advanced to third on a single by Matthijs. Southwest intentionally walked Hardee, loading the bases. Then, Barrett advanced runners with a hit that led to an infield error, scoring Daniels-Moye for a dramatic victory.
August 23 Top Performers
Troy Ashkinos, New England: 2-2, grand slam, 5 RBI
Natsuki Yajima, Japan: home run, 3-3, 3 RBIs, 3 runs scored
Matthew Matthijs, Southeast: 4.1 IP, 12 Ks, no hits and no walks, and hit 1-4
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