Pirates too much for Rattlers in title tilt
By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
The Rattlers used a miracle comeback in the final elimination game of the tournament to earn a 17-12 win and forced a rematch with Boonville, Mo., in the championship, but the Pirates wore down the Rattlers and won the Midwest Regional Tournament with a 17-7 run-rule win Monday at Brent Gould Field.
The Rattlers had to defeat West Fargo, N.D., to get a chance to play for the title, and either a West Fargo breakdown or a Rattler rally allowed it to happen.
The Rattlers trailed 11-6 in the fifth, and heading in to their last regulation at-bat in the top of the seventh, the Rattlers were down 12-8.
Max Valles led off the seventh and grounded out before Saul Mendoza and Elijah McCarter hit back-to-back singles.
Cesar Burciaga followed with a triple that cut the deficit to 12-10. Alex Yanez grounded out, and with two outs, Jett Brown worked a full count to a walk.
With the tying runs on base, Xavier Perez hit a drive to the West Fargo shortstop, but he couldn’t field the ball cleanly. Burciaga scored to narrow the gap to 12-12.
Dylan Thompson followed with another drive to the shortstop, and again a play could not be made allowing Brown to score and tie the game, 12-12.
Two Rattlers were stranded on base when Brodie Warren popped out, and Yanez was able to prevent West Fargo from scoring in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
The Rattlers took advantage of the opportunity and scored five runs in the eighth with only one hit, two walks and four West Fargo errors.
West Fargo had a base runner in the bottom of the eighth, but with one out, a pop to Yanez was caught, and he threw to first to double up the runner to end the game.
Booneville, Mo., 17, Rattlers 7
The Rattlers carried their momentum form scoring nine runs in the final two innings against West Fargo and scored seven runs in the first inning of the championship against Boonville, Mo.
But Missouri never lost faith in starting pitcher Jared Viertel, and despite the disastrous start, Viertel didn’t allow another run while his team scored the next 17 runs for the 17-7 win.
Boonville committed two errors in the first inning, and the Rattlers reeled off five hits to go along with two walkss to jump out to the 7-0 lead.
Brodie Warren took the mound for the Rattlers, and despite giving up two hits and a walk in the first did not allow a run.
The Rattlers went down in order in the second, but Missouri failed to score as well, and heading in to the third inning, the Rattlers still had a 7-0 lead.
For the second straight inning, the Rattlers went down in order, and Missouri started its championship rally in the bottom of the inning
Warren struggled by beaning the lead-off batter, and after two hits and tow walks, Missouri scored two runs with tow outs when Rattler coach Kyle Potts relieved Warren.
But Cesar Burciaga also struggled, and the Pirates scored seven more runs before the inning was over and took a 9-7 lead.
McCarter hit two-out single in the fourth, but the Rattlers couldn’t string together back-to-back hits, and he was left stranded.
Missouri continued to pour out the hits in the fourth. The Pirates had five hits and a walk in the inning and scored four runs to take a 13-7 lead.
The Rattlers put two runners on base but could not score in the fourth while Viertel pitched his third consecutive shutout inning.
Missouri pushed out to a 14-7 lead in the fifth inning with a one-out RBI double. Aaron Adams followed with a single, and after a fielder’s choice from Malik Brazil, Trae Williams stepped to the plate and crushed a two-out shot over the left field fence to score three runs with the walk-off home run and end the game, 17-7.
Elijah McCarter, Cesar Burciaga, Jett Brown, and Alex Yanez were named to the Midwest Regional All Tournament Team for the Rattlers, and Trae Williams, Jared Viertal, Dylan Watson and Kellen Barnes earned All Tournament honors for the Pirates.
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