Special To The Packet
BY BENJAMIN MOODY
The Nationals started off early Friday morning in the opening game of the tournament against Calhoun City. Max Gee went 3-3 with three runs scored while Ethan Bryan and Seth Harris both added two hits each. Both of Bryans hits were home runs. The game ended with a Columbus National 9-6 Victory.
Game two was forfeit from Union Allstars, putting the Nationals with a 2-0 Start.
Game three was one that the Nationals had been waiting for since the All Star selections. They met up with the Louisville Sluggers who also happens to be a Triple A travel ball team. This Sluggers team is 4-1 against the Nationals in All-star tournaments. Although each game has been close the last two years the Nationals have finished as the State Runners Up to the Sluggers each year. The game started off with a motivational speech from Coach Lee Boyd the New Hope High School Baseball coach. It must have worked because the Nationals struck quick in the first inning and never looked back. They had two dominant performances from Cameron Bartley and Rye McGlothin on the mound. They gave up one hit each in the game. At the plate, Seth Harris and Rye McGlothin both had two hits. The Nationals won 6-3.
Game four was against Starkville. The Nationals were looking for one win and a chance to play for another State Championship. Cameron Bartley pitched two innings allowing two hits while Ethan Bryan pitched two innings allowing zero hits. At the plate Max Gee, Jaelan Craddieth, and Seth Harris all had multiple hits Gee(2), Craddieth (2), and Harris (3). One of Craddieths was a home run in the first. This game lasted just four innings en route to a 10 run rule. Nationals won 11-1.
In the fifth game, the Nationals met up with the Louisville Sluggers once again. The Nationals found themselves down 2-0 in the bottom of the first. After Cameron Bartley started complaining of arm trouble coach Moody pulled him for precautionary reasons. Ethan Bryan came in in relief and threw two shutout innings. The Nationals never got down. They came back and added one run in the second and two in the third giving them a 3-2 lead before a rain delay. After a 45 minute rain delay the teams went back to work. In the fifth Inning the Nationals added 3 more runs making it a 6-2 ballgame. In the bottom of the sixth, the Sluggers added two runs. With one out and runners on first and second shortstop Jedarius Gore made a great one handed play to get an out at first. With runners on second and third and tying run at the plate Pitcher Rye McGlothin went to a full count before throwing strike three to win the game.
In the game Cameron Bartley had two hits and four RBI.
The team dedicated this All-star season to the memory of Park Stevens.