Americus Travelers Baseball Club wins one, ties one, and drops two at Parkview Shoot-Out
By MICHAEL MURRAY
GWINNETT COUNTY – The Americus Travelers 16U Baseball Club traveled to Gwinnett County on June 10 to participate in the Parkview Shoot-out tournament and test their diamond skills against those of other teams from all over the Southeast.
After an intense four matches, the Travelers left the tournament with one victory, a pair of narrow losses, and a 2-2 tie freshly under their belts.
The Americus crew opened the action with an 8-5 loss at the hands of Hillgrove High School, from Powder Springs.
The Travelers then went on to deal a 7-6 blow to Loganville High School before taking on St. Stanislaus High School, of St. Louis MS, who tied the team 2-2 after eight innings.
The Travelers capped off their run in the tourney with an 8-5 defeat at the hands of Game on Abney, of Cartersville.
The Travelers’ initial contest of the tournament saw the team take an early deficit as Hilltop High managed to bring in seven runners in the first frame. The Travelers added a pair of their own in the bottom of the stanza, along with single runs in the second, fourth, and sixth innings, but would not manage to catch up with their opponents.
Camron Vanlerberghe, of Schley County, set the pace for the team, connecting on a pair of hits in the match.
Will Kelley, of Bainbridge brought in a pair of RBIs on his sole connection of the contest; a first-inning homerun.
The Travelers plated one runner in the second frame when Jarrett Kemp, of Albany, hit a sacrifice fly to bring in an RBI.
In the fourth inning, a walk by Jarrod Wall, of Schley County, fueled the comeback effort when he eventually crossed the plate.
Americus then had one score in the bottom of the sixth when Will Lanneau, of Crisp County, plated a runner with an RBI.
Chance Hollomon, of Schley County, worked five and two-thirds innings, allowing three hits, no earned runs, and four walks. Holloman struck out one opponent.
The Travelers were out-hit 10-9 in the match.
The Travelers saw their luck change then they returned to the field later that afternoon for their second match of the tourney against Loganville High School.
Despite Loganville amassing an early four-run lead, the Travelers staged their comeback effort in the top of the fourth, bringing in three runners to narrow the gap to a single point. Loganville followed with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth before the Travelers’ bats exploded in the final stanza as the team piled on four more marks to take the walk-off win.
Reid Ragsdale, of Schley County, scored the winning run for the Travelers after drawing a trio of walks in the contest and batting in one runner. Vanlerberghe racked up two hits in the tilt to match his two RBIs and lead the team’s batters.
Lanneau and Ragsdale split duties on the mound for the Travelers, with Lanneau tossing the initial three innings and Ragsdale coming in as relief. Lanneau dispatched three potential batters in the contest while Ragsdale fanned one.
The following morning, the Travelers hit the diamond for what would prove to be a marathon match against St. Stanislaus High School. Americus scored both of their runs in the sixth stanza via RBI hits from Holloman and Vanlerberghe.
Gavin Paul, of Lee County, went the distance for the Travelers, tossing all eight innings. Paul allowed a pair of earned runs, 10 hits, and one walk. Paul sent six batters back to the dugout.
The Travelers capped off their participation in the tourney with a match-up against Game on Abney, in which the Americus crew was dealt an 8-5 defeat.
The Travelers pulled ahead early with a run in the first inning, which was equalized by Game on Abney in the bottom of the third. Americus added another in the top of the third before their opponents began a late surge that would put them ahead for good in the contest. The Travelers added runs in the tops of the fifth and seventh frames to bring their total score to five at the game’s conclusion.
Lanneau led the Travelers from the plate, batting three for four in the contest and scoring twice.
Vanlerberghe scored in the fourth stanza on a sacrifice fly off of Ragsdale’s bat. Will Lang, of Lee County, contributed two RBIs to the Travelers’ cause in the match.
The Travelers return to action on the last weekend in June when the team travels to Cumming for the Triple Crown Summer Blowout, featuring 16 of the top teams in the Southeast.
On July 9-10, the Travelers will return to Americus for a Saturday-Sunday double-header as part of the Travelers Weekend Challenge. The team will end their summer season on July 24-30 at the Grand Slam World Series in Panama City Beach, Fla.
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