One game shy

July 31, 2013

If you follow the Big League World Series in Easley every year, you’re probably pretty used to seeing the Easley-based host team compete for a title on a regular basis.

This year wasn’t much different.

South Carolina District 1 looked like a favorite from the get go. The host team registered a staggering 19 runs in its first two games of the World Series.

The offense left just as quickly as it had arrived for Easley, however. Despite having no trouble from the plate in the first two games. Easley was held scoreless in 12 consecutive innings that followed. In its two losses (Greenville and California), Easley’s only run came off a L.T. Tolbert single.

Although the bats weren’t there, A strong pitching staff still led the way for Easley. With the exception of a wild pitch that gave up the game’s only run, L.T. Tolbert pitched a stellar game for the host team against Greenville. Stephen McKnight also had a good outing against California, but he too threw a wild pitch that ended up making the difference in the game.

You can’t win, however, if you can’t score.

Were those two wild pitches costly? Yes. But, were they the reason Easley lost? I don’t think so.

The early exit, I believe, had a few explanations. The first one came in game one, when star pitcher Daniel Nations battled it out with Texas at the cost of not being able to pitch again until the semi-finals. Another blow to the host team came when Stephen McKnight got tossed in the team’s second game against Michigan.

McKnight was ejected almost instantly after throwing equipment in disagreement with something that happened on the playing field. Talk speculated that McKnight caught an elbow from an opposing player and lost his cool.

As a result, McKnight was unable to play against Greenville, where the host team desperately needed some offense.

Blame can be passed in any direction, but I believe it was still another good showing for Easley on the biggest Little League stage.

I think it’s safe to say we’ll see the four-time champions back next year.