EPHRATA, Wa. — The 10 teams at the 2017 16-18 Babe Ruth World Series are so evenly matched that the teams at the top and the bottom of the standings at the conclusion of pool play on Wednesday night were dead even after six innings, tied 0-0 and with each team having allowed just two hits.
Unfortunately, the Southeast Regional champion Surry County Mudcats blinked first, and ended up dropping a 3-0 contest to Midwest Plains Regional champ Charleston, Missouri in the fourth game of the tournament for both teams.
The Mudcats’ Tyler Myers was pitching a shutout with one out in the top of the seventh inning when he threw a comebacker away, putting a Charleston runner into scoring position. Myers struck out the next batter, but then two more hits and another error resulted in three unearned runs scoring for the Missouri team, which will advance to the medal round of the tournament with a bye as the only unbeaten team remaining (4-0).
Myers, a 2A All-State pitcher for Surry Central this spring who will pitch for Surry Community College next season, got the complete game and struck out seven, but his teammates were unable to get any more hits off Charleston starter Ronin Rice in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The tournament began on Saturday evening for the Mudcats against New England champion Cape Cod, Mass. In that game, neither team scored until Cape Cod scratched in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead. They were ahead 4-0 when finally got a run across in the last of the sixth, but that was only enough to make the final score 6-1 in favor of the New Englanders.
On Sunday night, the Mudcats were in a dogfight with Columbia Basin, Washington, the host team for the tournament. In this one, the hosts scored twice in the first inning, but Surry bounced back to tie it with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. Columbia Basin scored in the last of the fifth and held on to win 3-2 in a game where both teams collected seven hits.
Michael Roberts had two hits, and teammate Tyler Whitaker drove in both Surry runs. Jed Kidd pitched three innings and struck out four. Myers pitched three innings and fanned three.
The Mudcats grabbed a quick early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning in their third game, on Tuesday night against Mid-Atlantic champion Mt. Olive (New Jersey), but the rest of the game was all Mt. Olive. The Jersey team scored six times in the bottom half of the inning and later scored one in the second and five more in the fifth.
Chandler Johnson drove in a run for the Mudcats, but the highlights were few and far between for Surry in this one.