Big-time players make big plays in the biggest games. Despite his small stature, Wyatt Wilson is definitely a big-time player.
Wyatt tossed a complete-game shutout and added three hits at the plate to lead Womack Printing to the boys 9-10 junior league tournament championship with an 8-0 win over Homeland Bank.
Homeland Bank, which battled out of the loser’s bracket to earn a berth in the championship game, could never figure out Wyatt as the team had only four hits - two each from Jake Jones and Hayden Lytle. Wyatt was in full command from the outset as he allowed only one runner to reach third in the contest.
Homeland Bank was retired quickly in the first inning despite Jones leading off the game with a single. Wyatt ended the threat with a strikeout, his first of nine in the championship.
Womack Printing started out on fire at the plate as Westen Wilson doubled on the first pitch from Jones. Wyatt followed with a single, putting runners on the corners for C.J. Taylor. Taylor wasted little time putting runs on the board as he drilled the first pitch he saw into right field. The ball skipped past Ethan Moore and went to the fence, allowing the Wilson brothers and Taylor to score.
Wyatt pitched out of a jam in the second inning to keep the shutout intact. After a double by Lytle and walk to Quin Goodson, Wyatt struck out Moore with two outs to bring Womack Printing back to the plate. By the time Homeland Bank would get back to bat, the deficit would be seven.
Robbie Cole started a four-run second inning for Womack Printing by drawing a walk. After a strikeout, Westen joined Cole on base by picking up a free pass from Jones. Wyatt helped his cause with an RBI single to score Cole and make it 4-0.
Taylor followed with an RBI single of his own before Bryson Elrod drove in two with the team’s third straight run-scoring single. Elrod was stranded on base, but the damage was already done. Womack Printing left the second inning with a commanding 7-0 lead, one that would grow in the fourth inning.
Neither team scored in the third and Wyatt was able to avoid another potential jam in the fourth inning after Lytle’s second hit by striking out Goodson with runners on first and second with two outs.
Wyatt capped the scoring in the fourth inning when he reached base on a one-out triple, then scored on Elrod’s second RBI single.
Wyatt would go on to strike out the side in the fifth inning and take down the heart of the Homeland Bank order in the sixth inning to finish the game strong.
Justin Brantley and Jace Brantley were each retired on groundouts sandwiched around a walk to John Garrett, leaving Homeland Bank at the brink of elimination. Lytle, 2-for-2 at the time, stepped to the plate as the team’s last hope, but Wyatt had one last strikeout left in his arsenal.
Wyatt threw three straight strikes, the last of which ended the game and gave Womack Printing the tournament title. Wyatt sprinted home, leaping into Elrod’s arm after he caught strike three.
Elrod, Taylor and Westen Wilson finished with two hits apiece in the championship game. Cole, Taylor Smith, Bryan Bynum and Carter Smith had one hit each for Womack Printing.
Jones took the loss for Homeland Bank, which entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed. Garrett pitched the final three innings and had six strikeouts.