Bell and Sons Nursery established itself as the clear-cut favorite going into the Midway boys senior league tournament Monday night. Bell and Sons Nursery won a highly anticipated matchup with Jeff’s Towing 13-6, claiming the regular season title in the process.
What was expected to be a slugfest turned into a defensive showcase for five innings. Bell and Sons Nursery didn’t crack double digits until the sixth, when it scored five runs to put the game away.
CJ Taylor started the ball rolling in the sixth, slamming a two-run, opposite-field homer deep into left field. Dylan Partain, Cruz Reyes and Hunter Hillis followed with run-scoring singles to make it 13-5.
Bell and Sons Nursery ended the game by flashing the leather. Taylor and Balderas teamed to form a no-fly zone in center field, with Balderas making a running grab and Taylor snagging a ball at the fence.
Matthew Vandagriff, one of the league’s top hitters, kept Jeff’s Towing alive with an RBI double, but the game ended on a foul out.
Both teams traded making huge defensive plays early. Taylor, who missed the first two innings, subbed in in the third and promptly made three straight catches in left field to preserve an early 2-0 lead.
Jeff’s Towing responded by shutting down Bell and Sons Nursery with a double play. Landon Morris initiated the play by snagging a hard shot at short, flipping to Kaden Davis as he made the turn to end the threat.
Vandagriff helped get Jeff’s Towing on the board in the fourth, leading off with a double. He’d come in to score on a two-out triple by Eli Cantrell.
Logan O’Connor came up with the biggest hit for Bell and Sons in the fourth. O’Connor hit a skyscraper to center, allowing three runs to score and push his team ahead 5-1.
Jeff’s Towing got back to within one in the fifth, aided by a two-run homer by Vandagriff to make it 5-4.
The back-and-forth battle swung back to Bell and Sons Nursery in the bottom of the inning, getting RBI hits from Dylan Partain and Hillis.
Cantrell tried to rally Jeff’s Towing by pounding his first home run over the left-field fence in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough to rally his group.
Bell and Sons Nursery followed its big win with another victory Monday. The group opened tournament play with a 24-14 victory over McBride and Sons. In other tournament games, Dreams of the Field beat Mud Sluggers 22-2 and McBride and Sons topped Warren Mechanical 15-5.