When the West Holmes Youth Baseball (WHYB) u8 title game headed into it’s final inning on June 22 in Killbuck, the game between Killbuck and Nashville was tied at 10.
In the first five innings of the game there is a five-run limit per team, per inning. However, in the WHYB league there is no run-limit in the sixth and final inning.
And both teams took full advantage of that rule.
In the top of the sixth Nashville, the tournament’s number four seed, scored 11 runs on 10 hits highlighted by a two-run home run from Garrett Obrst. In all Nashville scored 10 of their 11 runs in the sixth with two outs and sent a total of 15 batters to the plate.
The epic top of the sixth for Nashville gave them what looked like a commanding 21-10 lead headed to the bottom of the sixth.
As the lower seed in the game and coming out of the loser’s bracket, Nashville needed to win the first game in order to force a second title bout. With the 11-run lead it looked like every one would be sticking around for a night cap.
The Killbuck players and their bats had other plans.
The number one seed in the tourney and still undefeated on the season, Killbuck went out and got 12 runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth and took home the title 22-21.
In the bottom of the sixth Killbuck sent 16 players to the plate, collected 13 hits and walked-off on Hayden Halverson’s single that scored Garrett Sampsel. Nashville was only able to record one out in the bottom of the sixth.
In the sixth inning the teams combined for 23 runs, 23 hits, and a total of 31 batters came to the plate.
After the top of the sixth when Nashville took the massive 11-run lead, Killbuck coach Brad McCluggage, like everyone else in attendance, felt like game two was inevitable.
“I was preparing for my pep talk while standing on third base trying to decide what I was going to tell my kids after game two, but they came through,” said McCluggage.
McCluggage also gave a lot of credit to his lineup despite missing their top hitter for the exciting comeback.
“The bottom of the order really came through tonight and scored a bunch of runs,” said McCluggage. “Our big hitter was on vacation this week, so it’s been a nail-biter the whole tournament for us.”
This is the second season in a row that Killbuck has won WHYB’s u8 division. Only two returning players from last year’s team were champions again this year.
“We had big shoes to fill because last year under Heath Cline this team won the title at the u8 level as well,” McCluggage said.
For the champions, Halverson was 4-for-5 at the plate with two singles, a double and a triple. Briar Rising collected four hits for Killbuck in the win, all singles, and Peyton Martin cranked out a double and two singles.
Nashville was led at the plate by Chet Cooper who was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with three singles, a double and a triple. Obrst finished with his home run and also had two doubles and a single. Koen Bridenthal also added three doubles for Nashville.