BELLEVILLE - It's every relief pitcher's dream, facing the final three outs and trying to hold onto a lead in the biggest game of the year.
Siglerville hurler Blaine Davis had just such an opportunity against Milroy in the Big Valley Minor League Super Series Championship Sunday.
With three-run lead, Davis allowed just one Pirate run in the final inning while striking out three as the celebration began for the Orioles.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Siglerville’s Levi Hartzler, right, runs safely to second base as Reedsville’s Cody Bickhart keeps his eye on the ball Saturday evening at Belleville in a Big Valley Minor Super Series semifinal.
However, Milroy proved why it was also in the title tilt, coming back from an eight-run deficit, rallying in the fifth to come within striking distance.
In the end, it was the orange and black attack that got the win 11-9.
"Milroy played a great game tonight, hats off to them," Siglerville Shawn Kibe said. "We've stressed to the boys all year long that if the other team does score that we need to respond as well. We were able to that this evening."
Highlighting the night offensively for the Orioles was an inside-the-park home run by Wyatt Garver. Garver also started on the mound for Siglerville and looked strong, striking out five and refusing to give up a run on the night.
Offensively for Milroy the late game brought a two-run single by Brennan McCann, closing the gap for the Pirates to 11-8.
Siglerville got on the scoreboard early and often in the first inning, plating four runs and giving itself an early cushion for Garver and his defense.
Leadoff hitter Trey Kibe got the inning started with a walk. Garver got his first hit next, smashing an RBI double, making it 1-0.
With Garver raring to go on second, his stay was a short one - teammate Landon Druckenmiller singled him home for the second run of the game.
After stealing second, Druckenmiller scored when Davis roped an RBI single of his own, upping the lead to three.
Rounding out the scoring was Julian Jackson's RBI single that scored Davis.
Siglerville added another run in the second as Ethan Stroup singled home Ryan Esh, giving the visitors a 5-0 lead going into the third inning.
After the Orioles posted its sixth run of the game, Milroy battled back to put the score within four, plating two runs in the bottom of the third.
Easton Verinet started the Pirates off in the right direction, walking while teammate Anson Wagner hustled out an infield hit, allowing Verinet to cross. Wagner also found his way home when he scored via a McCann infield single, making it 6-2.
"They got here by working hard," Milroy manager Eric Goss said. "They keep battling and keep fighting even trough all the mistakes we make the one thing they (Milroy) keep doing is keep playing to the end of the game."
Despite allowing five runs in the final three innings, the Pirates made a game of it.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates used their five runs to cut the lead to three and put themselves in striking distance for the final inning. Alex Kline got the rally started by patiently walking his way to first base. He was followed by consecutive walks to Gage Dobson and Tucker Crum.
With one out, Casey Lovelace brought in a run the easy way, also picking up a walk. Wagner did as well, cutting the Oriole lead to 11-5. Teammate Bryan Hassinger was hit by a pitch, scoring Crum.
Ending the inning was a two-run double by McCann, putting the Pirates at their scoring limit for the inning.
Milroy held the Orioles in the top of the final inning but in the bottom of the inning Davis was cool under pressure striking out three and allowing just one run, giving his team the title.
Siglerville 20, Reedsville 5
BELLVILLE - Blaine Davis has been the thorn in the side of area Little League teams all season. For Siglerville, the youngster has been the catalyst in an undefeated season thus far.
Saturday, in the Big Valley Minor Super Series semifinal game, Davis delivered again.
With a perfect day at the plate (4-for-4) and six RBIs, Davis led the Orioles to a 20-5 win over Reedsville to advance to the title game.
Davis followed Landon Druckenmiller's RBI triple by belting an RBI single in the first inning to get the Orioles to spread their wings. In the third, the youngster added another RBI single before hitting a bases clearing triple in the fifth.
Overall, the Orioles matched their run total with 20 hits. In three separate innings, Siglerville scored to maximum of five runs.
Siglerville used four pitchers throughout the game to hold Reedsville down. Reedsville's Cole Chilson, who had two RBIs, drove in the first for Reedsville with an RBI groundout. The Blue Jays collected only three hits through the first four innings before scoring four runs in the fifth on only two hits.
The Orioles had six players with at least two hits: Davis (4-4), Trey Kibe 2-3, Wyatt Garver (3-4), Druckenmiller (3-3), Julian Jackson (2-2) and Dakota Mateer (2-3). Ten different players drove in runs for the winners.
Sentinel sports reporter Nick Wagner contributed to this story.