Carter McElhany drilled three in-the-park home runs, including a two-run shot to seal the game in the bottom of the fifth as Crye-Leike pulled out a 6-4 victory over Radio Shack to win the 8U city tournament championship Monday at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.
Carter McElhany drilled three in-the-park home runs, including a two-run shot to seal the game in the bottom of the fifth as Crye-Leike pulled out a 6-4 victory over Radio Shack to win the 8U city tournament championship Monday at the Heber Springs Sports Complex. Radio Shack, which defeated Jayson Jones Ford 17-10 earlier in the evening to reach the finals, needed two victories for the title and appeared poised to take the first game, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Kenan Sneed led off the first with a single to center and scored when Corbin Jones launched an in-the-park home run to deep center field. Down 2-0 with one out in the bottom of the first, McElhaney sent a line drive to right field and turned on the burners for his first in-the-park home run of the night, slicing Crye-Leike's deficit in half at 2-1 entering the second inning. Radio Shack pushed its lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the second as Alex Goff singled and scored on a two-out RBI triple of the bat of Noah Janski. In the bottom of the second, Payton Owens singled and Ben Lerew doubled, placing two runners in scoring position for Crye-Leike. But, Radio Shack escaped the jam when Sneed took a care of a ground ball up the middle. Radio Shack nearly pushed across a run in the top of the third as Sneed tripled with two outs and almost scored on Tyson Conner's dribbler in front of the mound, but McElhaney quickly scooped the ball and tagged out Sneed for the final out of the top half. In the bottom of the third, Crye-Leike stirred up a two-out rally, starting when Bent McClain roped a triple to center field. McElhaney then laced a two-run home run over first base and down the right field line to knot the score at 3-all. Cole Payton added a single then switch-hitting Easton Cusick, batting left handed, pulled a double to right field, placing two runners in scoring position. Radio Shack escaped further harm with a strikeout, leaving the game tied entering the top half of the fourth. Jones, Colby Boyd and Goff all singled in the fourth for Radio Shack, but this time Crye-Leike dodged a bullet with a strikeout, leaving all three runners stranded. Tied at 3-all, Crye-Leike took its first lead of the night in the bottom of the fourth. Bauer Pruitt led off the inning with a single then Owens and Luke Broadaway each singled to load the bases for Lerew, who drove home Owens with a groundout to Jones at first base. With two runners in scoring position and one out, consecutive strikeouts helped Radio Shack limit the damage, escaping the bottom half with only three minutes to spare. Trailing 4-3 and down to its final three cracks, Payton robbed Tasker Singleton of an extra base hit for the first out. After Payton snared Singleton's line drive from his first base position, Janski ignited Radio Shack with a single. Taylor Conner followed with a single to right field, moving Janski to third. With runners at the corners, James Lattin delivered a clutch two-strike RBI single that scored Janski as Radio Shack tied the game at 4-all. Sneed singled with two outs to load the bases, but Crye-Leike escaped further damage when McElhaney took care of a ground ball off the bat of Tyson Conner. Tied at 4-4 entering the top of the fifth, McClain ripped a one-out single up the middle. McElhaney, who finished with 5 RBI and 3 runs scored, crushed a two-run home run to the gap in deep right center as Crye-Leike celebrated the city tournament title with a hard-fought 6-4 victory.