Kirby Real Estate swept General Equipment in the boys 11-12 senior league season to earn the regular-season championship. General Equipment got the last laugh in the tournament title game.
Dakota Gibbs hit a go-ahead, three-run triple in the top of the sixth as General Equipment needed a thrilling comeback to win the championship game 5-2 Monday night.
After each team earned their way into the championship game with wins Saturday, Kirby Real Estate took a lead into the final inning and was one out from victory before General Equipment mounted a comeback.
Dylan Young, who entered in relief for Kirby Real Estate, started the sixth inning off with a strikeout. After surrendering a walk to Kadin Davenport, catcher Carter Mansfield aided his pitcher by throwing Davenport out at second trying to steal.
With two outs and the championship in its grasp, things fell apart for Kirby Real Estate. Things began to unravel when Young walked Jonathan Herron. Problems continued to arise when Skylar Pack laid down a bunt, but Mansfield’s throw for the potential final out was just out of reach at first base.
General Equipment had new life, but things were tense when Young worked to full count against Ryan Cuthren. The payoff pitch was a tad high and Cuthren loaded the bases by drawing a free pass.
Gibbs wouldn’t wait long to come through in the clutch for General Equipment. Gibbs jumped on the first pitch and drove it into center field. The ball bounced once before crashing into the fence. Herron, Pack and Cuthren each scored, while Gibbs advanced to third on a stand-up triple.
Clay Eckenrod added an insurance run with a single up the middle to score Gibbs and put General Equipment ahead by three entering the final frame.
Lane Jones, General Equipment’s relief pitcher who performed admirably despite playing with a broken toe, was able to close the door to earn the victory. Jones forced a fly out to begin the inning, but Dalton Bates followed with a single.
With a runner on, Jones ended any hopes of Kirby Real Estate making a comeback as he struck out the final two batters. Jones finished with five strikeouts in three innings of work to earn the victory.
Kirby Real Estate took an early lead without getting a hit against General Equipment starter Crockett Walker. Two dropped third strikes, along with three walks, allowed Kirby Real Estate to move runners around. Logan Young and Parker Dixon each reached base on dropped strikes and scored in the first inning to make it 2-0 early.
The lead stayed the same until the fifth inning when errors allowed Gibbs to round the bases. Gibbs singled into left field, but it was the start of a scoring play. While attempting to throw Gibbs out at second as he attempted to stretch the hit into a double, the ball sailed past second. Gibbs continued to run and his third-base coach sent his speedy lead-off hitter home. The throw home was off the mark as well and Gibbs scored standing up to cut the lead in half.
It wasn’t until Gibbs’ triple in the sixth inning that General Equipment took its lead, but the team held on to victory.
Walker finished with nine strikeouts in three innings of work for General Equipment. Gibbs led the team at the plate with three hits and three RBIs while Eckenrod and Jones had one hit apiece.
Dylan Young took the loss for Kirby Real Estate as he took over in the fourth inning for Parker Dixon. Dylan Young battled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth with a strikeout, one of six for him, but the second bases-loaded situation was too much for Kirby Real Estate to overcome. Dixon had six strikeouts in four innings of work.
Bates, Dixon, Logan Young and Dylan Young each had one hit for Kirby Real Estate.
The 12-year-old all-stars from the senior league, who were honored after Monday’s championship game, will be in action Thursday when the team starts a tournament in Baxter.