EPHRATA — For the longest time Thursday evening, it didn’t look like either the Moses Lake River Dogs or Team Cape Cod was ever going to score a run.
“It was awesome, a great game, we played our hearts out, but someone had to lose,” said River Dogs Coach Donnie Lindgrin.
And lose they did, 2-0 in extra innings. But for much of the game both teams pitched hard and fielded well, keeping the game scoreless and sending it into overtime until a wild pitch by Moses Lake relief pitcher A.J. Pruneda with bases loaded in the 10th inning allowed Cape Cod’s first baseman Crawford McCabe to steal home and set in motion Cape Cod’s late-game victory.
Cape Cod scored a second run when third baseman Macaire LaBarge hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Cape Cod’s Nathan Amaker to score.
Cape Cod will go on to face the Fighting Squirrels from Charleston, Mo, tonight in the semi-final game of the Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 World Series, which is being held this year in Ephrata.
The Babe Ruth League is a youth baseball league with teams across the world. The 16-18 year-old division is the league’s most advanced, and games normally only go 7 innings.
“We like to keep things interesting,” said Cape Cod Coach Dan Proto. “It was a very good ballgame, both managers can go home thinking they played a good game.”
That may be true, but only one team is advancing.
“Charleston beat us pretty well last game,” Proto said.
“Pitching and defense, there was a lot of good fielding out there,” Lindgrin said. “Both teams did a great job, but it’s baseball, and one little break will win it or cost you.”
Cape Cod starting pitcher Judson Morris, who pitched most of the 10-inning game, said he focused on the task at hand, and not where Cape Cod would be tomorrow night.
“I just tried to throw strikes and get outs,” he said. “My team backed me up, and they did all the work. We came in saying, ‘we’re not losing this game.’ It’s an unbelievable group, we just keep going.”
The Moses Lake team was quiet while supporters gathered round and crews prepared the field for the next game. Life goes on after a loss, and the players will now focus on school and the next sports they’ll play.
“It happens,” said Moses Lake catcher Josh Jesse. “It’s baseball.”