by Bradey King
The 14u Division 1 Nevada Road Dawgs out of Las Vegas, NV took down WW Sweets (Redmond, WA) in walk-off fashion on Saturday morning at the Arizona Spring Championships, winning their pool play game by a 5-4 margin.
The Sweets got on the board first, scoring a run in the top of second. However, the Dawgs offense didn’t explode until the fourth inning. The middle of their lineup produced back-to-back singles, followed by a Sweets error that loaded the bases. An RBI single from Thomas Crafard scored one run, later followed by a wild pitch that allowed the Dawgs to tack on two more runs and make the score 3-1.
The Sweets rallied in the top of the fifth to tie it up and put some pressure back on the Dawgs. The team responded by getting a base runner on, advancing him, stealing third and then scoring off of a clutch two-out RBI single from Jordan Bowman.
Bowman took the mound the next inning to close out the game but struggled to find the strike zone. He walked three consecutive batters, allowing the Sweets to score and tie up the game once again. After a mound meeting with his coach, Bowman flipped a switch and struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
“He told me to just relax and throw strikes,” said Bowman.
In the Dawgs last chance to win the game, they strung together some timely hits. With two outs and the winning run on third base, the fate of the game was on Ryan Watkins’ shoulders. He got the job done, crushing a walk-off single into the 5-6 hole.
“I told myself to hit the ball in the gap somewhere and hit it on the ground,” said Watkins.
The Dawgs finished with eight hits and earned their first win of the tournament after facing a tough loss the game prior. Head coach Jewell Williams was pleased to see his team bounce back.
“The first game the boys came off pretty flat. In this game we just made routine plays. Like I told them from Day 1, if you made routine plays and pitchers throw first-pitch strikes, we’re gonna win a lot of ball games,” said Williams.