Moose Lodge knew all-too-well how Twice the Ice could mount a rally in a moment’s notice. Jacob Holt wasn’t going to let his team blow a big lead in Friday’s championship game.
Holt struck out 13 over six innings to help Moose Lodge defeat Twice the Ice 7-4 in the boys 9-10 title tilt. It proved to be the rubber match between the squads, who split the regular-season championship.
Moose Lodge lost just once in the regular season, blowing a 9-1 lead against Twice the Ice that led to the teams finishing the season tied at the top. Holt made sure another big lead wouldn’t disappear Friday.
Spotted a 5-0 lead in the first inning, Holt was able to navigate around a tough third inning to go the distance. During one stretch, Holt struck out seven straight batters, including sitting down the side in the fourth and fifth innings.
Fittingly, Holt got the final out with a fireball across the inside corner. As soon as the umpire made the call, Moose Lodge erupted in celebration as players swarmed their heroic hurler.
Aaron Wilson helped give Holt his early cushion. With two on and one out in the first inning, Wilson went the other way with a hard liner down the right-field line. He was able to circle to third, while Brady Norris and Holt scored, making it 4-0. Wilson would later score on a bases-loaded walk before Twice the Ice was able to retire the side.
Holt cruised through the first two innings, striking out five before Twice the Ice found its groove at the plate in the third.
The visitors started their charge with three straight singles from John Gillespie, Ryder Gillespie and Adrian Harris. Harris’ shot brought around two, while an error allowed him to score. Braylon Hankins added a two-out RBI single as Twice the Ice narrowed the gap to 5-4.
Moose Lodge had to get creative in the fourth to add to its lead. After Brady Norris rocked a lead-off triple, coach JW Holt dug into his bag of tricks, calling for a squeeze bunt. His son executed it to perfection, with Jacob’s bunt allowing the speedy Norris to sprint home and score.
Korbin Harris gave his team some breathing room in the fifth, singling and scoring to account for the final score. He did the same in the first inning, beginning the scoring.
Ryder Gillespie took the hard-luck loss in the championship, striking out nine over five innings.
Daylin Holguin and Keagan Thompson also had hits to help Moose Lodge earn the championship.