By RODNEY HARWOOD
JAMESTOWN, NY — It all starts on the bump.
A dominant pitcher can take over a big game and Brewster left-hander Quincy Vassar did just that in the Columbia Basin River Dogs 5-1 victory over Williamsport, Penn., at the Senior Babe Ruth League World Series in Jamestown, NY, on Tuesday.
Vassar has transitioned from the soft, breaking stuff guy River Dogs manager started in last year’s World Series semifinal, to a hard-throwing force to be reckoned with. The River Dogs (1-1) rode the big-arm performance all the way to their first win of the World Series and set up their run in the National pool. Vassar went the distance, striking out six and allowing just one run, while scattering four hits in seven innings.
“He was in total control of his breaking pitch and was able to pitch backwards today, in that he was able to start the count with a curveball, then come in with the fastball later,” said manager Randy Boruff in a telephone interview. “When you’re able to pitch backwards like that it keeps them off balance.
“There’s no question that he’s much better than he was last year. He’s a bigger kid . His fastball is a little better (80-81 mph) and his curveball is a little sharper.”
Right-hander Vance Alvarado is the scheduled starter against on Tuesday against the Ohio Valley champions, the Northwest Rippers from Crown Point, Ind. He said he liked the way Vassar took control early against the Mid Atlantic champs.
“Quincy always brings his A-game and really shut them down today,” Alvarado said of the Game 10 MVP selection. “He was really working his curveball and threw as good as you can get. His velocity is better than last year and he’s really worked hard on his secondary pitches. He’s really turned it up this year.”
What a difference a day makes, Columbia Basin saw a one-run deficit blow up in their face when they gave up eight in the sixth inning against Alabama in the opener. On Monday, they were the ones that took over in the sixth.
Dominic Signorelli’s sac fly broke a 1-1 tie. The River Dogs scored two in the sixth and closed with two more in the seventh to close out their first win of the tournament.
“We only had two hits against Alabama, so we went to the plate today thinking we just needed to put the bat on the ball and make thing happen,” centerfielder Evan McLean said in a telephone interview. “We’re not quite back to where we were offensively at the regional tournament, but we’re getting more relaxed.
“The tournament is a great environment. The field is really nice, but it’s really hot and it takes some getting used to. We’re playing with confidence and ready for the next game.”
The River Dogs scored five runs on seven hits to break out of a slump. First baseman Dax Lindgren found the groove with a 2-for-2 hitting performance that also included a walk and an RBI. Evan Devolve, Emmitt Tatum, Lindgren and Signorelli had an RBI apiece.
“From last year to this year (where both teams made it to the semifinals), with the combined team we have a lot more confidence,” Alvarado said “We have all the guys that we need and I definitely feel this team can go far. The defense we’ve put together, backing strong pitching and good hitting, has us on track to do good things.”
The River Dogs play Onondaga, NY on Tuesday at 4:30 a.m. PDT.
Midwest Plains – Charleston, Mo. (2-0)
Pacific Southwest – Bakersfield, Calif. (1-1)
Southeast – Fairfax Va. (1-1)
Host: Southern Tier – Chautauqua/Cattaragus County, NY (1-1)
New England – Lynn All-stars, Lynn, Mass. (0-2)
Southwest – Mobile, Ala. (2-0)
Middle Atlantic – Williamsport, Pa. (2-1)
Pacific Northwest – Columbia Basin River Dogs (1-1)
Western New York state champions – Onondaga (1-2)
Ohio Valley – NW Indiana, Crown Point, Ind. (0-2)
Mobile, Ala. v Crown Point, Ind.
Charleston, Mo. v Lynn, Mass.
Fairfax Va. v Bakersfield, Calif.
River Dogs v Onondaga 4:30 p.m. PST