Time was the only thing that could stop the Rough Riders in their 10U Douglas County Amateur Baseball match-up with the Titans on May 23 at Youth Sports Inc.
The Riders led the Titans 16-1 when the Riders came to bat in the bottom of the fourth. But with the score in their favor, the time limit approached and the game ended without the Riders putting any more runs on the board.
The Riders used overpowering pitching and alert base running on their way to a 16-1 victory over the Titans.
"I didn't feel nervous," said Rider Gage Nelson as to whether he thought his team would win or not.
The first inning set the tone for the game as Riders starting pitcher Brandon Bell shook-off a leadoff single by Titan David Neff. As Neff stole his way around to third base, Bell struck out the next three batters, ending the Titan threat.
In the bottom half of the inning, the first five Riders to step to the plate reached base, and each runner came home giving the team an early five -run lead in the first inning. Scoring was highlighted by a RBI triple by Eric Rogers that scored Alex Smith-Guana. Rogers wouldn't be on third long as the next batter, Bell, drove him in with a single.
The second inning was nearly a carbon copy of the first as again Bell allowed only one Titan to reach base while striking out three. When the Riders came to bat, they again posted five runs.
The Riders made a pitching change in the third, going with the left-handed Rogers. The Titans tried to take advantage of Bell's exit.
Mason Fast led off the inning with a walk and then scored on a triple by Austin Sanders. Rogers walked the next batter, Cole Lewis, but settled down and struck out the next two batters. A pop-up to catcher Thomas Anderson ended the inning.
"The guys that pitched tonight, especially the first couple Brandon and Eric do a really good job of throwing strikes," Rough Riders coach Patrick Mikesic said. "There's not many kids in this league that can hit them."
Despite the score, the Titans showed tremendous heart in the final innings.
Matt Pendry came in to pitch in the third for the Titans. The second batter Pendry faced hit a pop-up between the mound and catcher Steven Garcia. Pendry made the catch just before colliding with Garcia and held on to record the out.
Neff replaced Pendry on the mound after the play, and the Riders scored six runs in the inning. Joseph Mikesic and Nelson stood out in the inning for the Riders as both players stole home after overthrows to third base and home, respectively.
"Good base running will do it every time and they did a nice job running the bases," coach Mikesic said.
Sammy Dowell came in to pitch for the Riders in the fourth and retired the Titans in order with three strikeouts, but the Titans' heart showed again in the bottom of the inning.
After his collision the previous inning, Pendry returned to the mound for the Titans and faced two batters before time expired.
Coach Mikesic said this game showed how much his Riders had improved in the past couple weeks.
"They're learning and they're getting more confidence, that's the big thing," Mikesic said.