Championship games normally involve tension as two teams compete for the grand prize. NYP Nursery Supply made sure Tuesday’s championship game in the boys 13-15 Babe Ruth league wouldn’t be tense.
Behind an eight-run first inning, NYP Nursery Supply cruised to a 20-4 victory over Sun Drop to claim the Babe Ruth championship.
NYP Nursery Supply had to win two games Tuesday at Edley Newman Field against Sun Drop to take the title and it did. NYP Nursery Supply won the first game 7-3, forcing a winner-takes-all championship game.
In the championship game, the outcome was all but ensured by the time the top of the first inning ended. NYP Nursery Supply sent 12 batters to the plate in an eight-run inning, one that featured as many Sun Drop errors as hits by NYP Nursery Supply.
Anthony Palmer and J.D. Keele started the game with back-to-back singles before Tyler Hollingsworth hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Palmer. Colton Smith followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0 before the wheels fell off for Sun Drop.
The comedy of errors began when Dylan Bond reached safely on an error at third base. Aiden McVey followed by drawing a free pass from Ben Sweeton, but McVey would be thrown out at second base on a fly ball dropped in left field by Jacob Linder.
A walk to Roman Johnson put two runners aboard that would each score on back-to-back infield errors. By the time Keele returned to the plate and drove in two runs with a single, NYP Nursery Supply led 8-0.
Dylan Bond held Sun Drop scoreless in the bottom of the frame as the starting pitcher for NYP Nursery Supply battled out of a two-out jam with runners on second and third by forcing Devin Terry to ground out to shortstop.
The lead swelled to double digits in the second inning as Smith singled and scored for NYP Nursery Supply while Bond scored on an RBI single by Noah Fann.
Trailing 10-0, Sun Drop scratched its first run across in the bottom of the second when Dylan Madison was hit by a pitch and would work his way around the bases on passed balls.
Bond would redeem himself after allowing Sun Drop’s first run by hitting a bases-loaded single in the third inning to score Keele, Hollingsworth and Smith to make it 13-1.
Sun Drop answered back with three runs of its own in the third inning, two coming on a single by Sweeton, but it proved to be the last of the runs for the home team.
NYP Nursery Supply put the game away with seven runs in the fifth inning. Johnson had two hits in the inning while Palmer, Keele, Hollingsworth and Linder each had RBI singles.
McVey closed the door on Sun Drop by pitching a quick fifth inning to end the game.
Bond earned the championship victory by going four innings and allowing four runs on one hit while striking out two.
Keele led the NYP Nursery Supply offense with four hits in the championship, followed by two each from Palmer, Hollingsworth, Smith and Johnson. Sweeton and A.D. Majors had hits for Sun Drop.
In the first game, Palmer picked up the victory by pitching four innings while allowing no runs and one hit. Smith pitched the final two innings for NYP Nursery Supply in the four-run win.
Palmer helped his case with one hit, a two-run single in the second inning that gave the team an early lead. Walks and passed balls led to three more runs in the fourth inning as NYP Nursery Supply put the game away. Smith, Bond and Johnson finished with one hit each in the first game.
Sun Drop got hits from Sweeton, Tristan Shaddox and Daniel McGee in the first game.
Between games, league commissioner Jeff McGee announced the winners of the league’s MVP awards. The winner of the Edley Newman Memorial Award, given to the best 13-year-old player, was Hollingsworth from NYP Nursery Supply. Majors, who was the main pitcher for Sun Drop as the team won the regular season, was given the Charles Dalton Memorial award for the best 14-year-old player while First National Bank pitcher Dustyn Kilgore was the top 15-year-old player and received the Barksdale Memorial award.