EAU CLAIRE (WI) 7, OTTUMWA (IA) 6
The host team was pushed to the brink of elimination, after a back-and-forth game which saw Ottumwa rally from two deficits, but come up just short on the third and final rally. Eau Claire earned its first win of the tournament, but still has work to do if it wants to advance out of pool play.
For the third straight day, Ottumwa was scored on in the first inning, giving up one run this time. The hosts responded with a pair in the top of the second, but Eau Claire plated three in the bottom half to move ahead 4-2. Ottumwa tied it with single runs in the third and fourth innings. An error in the bottom of the sixth opened the door for Eau Claire to score three runs, but Ottumwa wasn’t done yet. They brought two more home in the seventh, and had the tying run on second base, but couldn’t come up with the one more hit they need to extend the game.
Now 0-3 in American Division play, Ottumwa will need some help to advance. They have the day off on Sunday, but they need Eau Claire to lose to West Fargo (ND), and Mifflin County (PA) to lose to Waterford (CT). Then on Monday, the final day of pool play, Ottumwa would need to beat Mifflin County, which would place Ottumwa, Eau Claire and Mifflin in a three-way tie for third and leave the final qualifying spot in the hands of the tiebreaker rules.
WEST FARGO (ND) 6, MIFFLIN COUNTY (PA) 2
West Fargo lost its early lead, but put together a late rally to stay unbeaten in pool play. Mifflin County, which had won its opener in extra innings after a late rally, couldn’t repeat the magic in suffering its first loss.
West Fargo scored twice in the first inning, but afterwards, West Fargo’s Brayden Jacobson and Mifflin County’s Casey Conner settled into a pitchers’ duel. Each pitcher kept the opponent off the board in the second through fifth innings, but the Pennsylvania squad produced some of its familiar late-inning magic, scoring the two tying runs in the top of the sixth. In the bottom half, however, Quade Peters’ squeeze bunt scored the go-ahead run, and West Fargo tacked on three more for good measure to put the game away.
West Fargo stands at 2-0 on the win, with a matchup against 1-2 Eau Claire coming up on Sunday. Mifflin County falls to 1-1, and will take on 2-0 Waterford on Sunday.
PEARL CITY (HI) 2, SPOKANE (WA) 1
For the first time in the tournament, Pearl City allowed a run, and actually trailed in a game. It didn’t last, however, as the kids from Hawaii became the first team of the week to claim their third win.
Spokane had used a late rally the day before to win, and they carried the momentum over to Saturday, plating a run in the second inning–the first run Pearl City had allowed in 14 innings of World Series competition. Spokane wouldn’t score again, however, and the Hawaii boys tied things up with a run in the fourth. The game stayed scoreless until the bottom of the seventh, when Pearl City scored the winning run to walk off and officially clinch a berth in the knockout rounds.
At 3-0, Pearl City will have Sunday off before wrapping up pool play Monday against Meridian (MS). Spokane falls to 1-1, and will face a desperate, 0-3 Davenport (IA) on Sunday.
MERIDIAN (MS) 5, DAVENPORT (IA) 4 (9 innings)
Davenport was in position to give the state of Iowa its first win of the tournament, but a late Meridian rally dashed the hopes of the Hawkeye State. Davenport joins Ottumwa on the list of 0-3 teams who’ll need help to advance out of pool play.
After two scoreless innings, Davenport burst in front with a three-run top of the third inning. Meridian got one back in the fourth, but Davenport tacked on another run in the fifth. Just when it looked like victory was in sight, though, Meridian roared back with three runs in the sixth to knot the score at four. From then on, Davenport felt like it was walking a tightrope. They escaped a second-and-third, one-out jam in the seventh, and Owen Stieger threw out a runner at the plate to keep Davenport alive. In the top of the ninth, it was Meridian who escaped a bases-loaded jam, before they scored a walkoff win in the bottom of the ninth.
For Davenport to advance, they’ll have to beat 1-1 Spokane on Sunday. They also need Spokane to lose on Monday, and have Sarasota lose on both days. Meridian will be Sarasota’s opponent on Sunday, and Spokane’s on Monday.
Waterford (CT) 2-0
West Fargo (ND) 2-0
Mifflin County (PA) 1-1
Eau Claire (WI) 1-2
Ottumwa (IA) 0-3
Pearl City (HI) 3-0
Meridian (MS) 1-1
Sarasota (FL) 1-1
Spokane (WA) 1-1
Davenport (IA) 0-3