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Adams, Erdman Lead Young Guns Sweep Of USSSA “E” World Qualifier At Expressway Park

Milford, Oh.—Josh Adams held all four of his team’s opponents to four runs or less, and Josh Erdman hit .714, to lead Young Guns to a first place finish in a USSSA “E” World Qualifier on Saturday, May 17th at Expressway Park.

 

Young Guns outlasted White Castle/S.O.P./Chic’s/S.O.C.C. 4-3 in the championship game to complete a four-game sweep of the six-team affair.

 

Previously the champions had mowed down No Excuses 6-1, Reloaded 11-4, and Covington Moose/Lights Out 10-2 in the winners’ bracket finals.

 

The winners outscored their opponents by a combined 31-10 margin en route to the title behind the pitching of Adams, the tournament MVP, and a smothering defense.

 

The Young Guns qualified for the Ohio USSSA “E” State Tournament August 16-17 in Dayton, and for the U-Trip Great Lakes “E” National Tournament September 6-7 in Indianapolis, In.

 

A berth to the USSSA “E” World Tournament September 25-28 in Kissimmee, Fl. passed down to 3rd place Covington Moose/Lights Out.

 

Young Guns manager Chris Shannon credited his club’s first place finish to “defense and pitching.

 

“Josh Adams was throwing strikes and they were putting the ball in play,” said Shannon.  “We always play good defense, but this weekend we played even better because we didn’t give runs away.  We made the plays we needed to make, and got the outs when we needed to get them.”

 

Locking down the infield was shortstop Justin Sprague.

 

“He made a couple of diving stops in the six-hole in a couple different situations with runners on base where it helped hold the runners on base and keep runs off the board,” said Shannon.

 

Sprague also turned in a solid .538 performance.

 

Outfielders James Stephens (l), Sean Emmitt (c), and Logan McIntosh (r) “did a good job making plays in the gaps and cutting the gaps off and held people to singles where they probably should have gotten a double,” noted Shannon.

 

Josh Erdman paced the offense with a robust .714 day.

 

“That was long overdue,” said Shannon.  “He’s a very young hitter and still a little inconsistent with his bat, but he does a very good job of making contact and driving the ball in the gap.  He led us in doubles and extra base hits.  It was a good and unexpected showing for him.”

 

Shannon also aided his team’s cause with a hefty .692 day.

 

“I’ve just been able to hit the ball when I’ve needed to and to set the tone for the rest of the team,” said Shannon.

 

Josh Adams took home the tournament’s MVP award.

 

“He didn’t hit the ball all that well, but he consistently threw strikes and walked very few people throughout the tournament, which is what you look for in a pitcher” said Shannon.  “He was also able to make three or four plays on balls hit back up the middle and get a glove on them and finish the plays.”

 

Adams also only allowed his victims to score in seven out of twenty-eight innings that he was on the mound.

 

Adams made his presence felt early in the tournament, as he allowed No Excuses only one, second-inning run in the opener.  Young Guns finally got on the board with a Chris Shannon rbi single in the 2nd, then took the lead on a No Excuses miscue.  Shannon picked up another rbi with a base hit to cap off a three-run 3rd.  James Stephens drove in the final run of the game with a sac fly in the bottom of the 6th.

 

Sean Emmitt and Shannon each went 2-for-3 for the winners.

 

Next the Young Guns jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the 1st, then outscored Reloaded/BPR/Them Shirts 6-0 over the final three innings to break open a 5-4 contest.  Chris Shannon and Josh Adams each contributed an rbi single in the 1st, and Ryan Johnson an rbi double.  James Stephens singled to drive in a run in the top of the 4th after Reloaded had trimmed the deficit to one at 4-3.  Then, after Reloaded pushed across another run in the bottom of the 4th, Reloaded answered with two in the top of the 5th on a Johnson sac fly and an rbi single by Josh Erdman, one in the 6th on a Justin Sprague base hit, and three in the 7th, which featured a two-run single by Logan McIntosh to close out the scoring.

 

Josh and John Erdman, Sprague and Shannon banged out three hits apiece to pace the offense.

 

That lifted the Young Guns into the winners’ bracket finals, where they spanked Covington Moose 10-2.  Chris Shannon put his club on the board with a two-run double in the top of the 1st.  James Stephens made it a 3-0 game with an rbi single in the 2nd.  Covington Moose sliced into the lead with two in the bottom of the 2nd, but Ryan Johnson stroked a two-run single in the top of the 3rd to open up a three-run advantage.  Johnson singled in another run in the 5th, and Stephens followed with a bases-clearing double to seal the win.

 

Josh Erdman pounded out four hits, and Stephens, Shannon, Johnson, Logan McIntosh and John Erdman shared ten.

 

Moose’s offensive woes continued in the losers’ bracket finals, where White Castle routed the Kentucky club 14-3.

 

Young Guns drew first blood in the finals with two runs in the bottom of the 2nd, but White Castle quickly offset that with two in the top of the 3rd.  Young Guns came right back with rbi singles by Chris Shannon and Ryan Johnson, then pitcher Josh Adams limited White Castle to a lone 7th inning run over the final four frames to help his team escape with a 4-3 victory and the title.

 

Justin Sprague, Logan McIntosh, Shannon, Josh Erdman and James Stephens combined for ten hits to help power the champions.

 

“That was a tough game,” remarked Young Guns’ Chris Shannon.  “White Castle is a very solid young team.  I think they’ve only been around two or three years, and they have a lot of young baseball players on their team.  We were fortunate to get out of that game with a 4-3 win, because they had the tying run on 3rd in the last inning when we were able to get the last out.  They don’t quit and the definitely fought all the way to the last out.”

 

Getting past No Excuses 6-1 in game one proved to be the pivotal game of the tournament, said Shannon.

 

“We’ve typically struggled getting out of the game in our past tournaments this year,” said Shannon.  “Once we got that first game in, everybody was able to relax a little bit and we were able to play good defense, and Josh (Adams) did a good job just throwing strikes.  And with the new no free foul rule this year, getting that first strike on the batter is huge.  It definitely changes the game when you’re able to get that first strike.”

 

Shannon concluded by thanking Expressway Park for a well-run event.

 

“Bob Owens (park manager) always puts on a great tournament,” said Shannon.  “We always play leagues at Expressway, so that is one of our favorite parks.  We love to play there.”

 

For final standings, tournament game scores and all-tournament team, please paste the following url into your browser: http://www.usssa.com/sports/tournament3.asp?TournamentID=1098399

 

This article is also available for viewing at www.ohiousssasoftball.com.

 

The Young Guns used a smothering defense to outscore four opponents by a combined 31-10 score en route to a first place finish in a USSSA “E” World Qualifier on Saturday, May 17th at Expressway Park.  In the front row, left to right, are Josh Erdman, Chris Shannon, Logan McIntosh, Sean Emmitt and John Erdman.  In the back row are James Stephens, Tyler Sorague, Justin Sprague, Josh Adams and Ryan Johnson.  Photo courtesy of Expressway Park.

The Young Guns used a smothering defense to outscore four opponents by a combined 31-10 score en route to a first place finish in a USSSA “E” World Qualifier on Saturday, May 17th at Expressway Park.  In the front row, left to right, are Josh Erdman, Chris Shannon, Logan McIntosh, Sean Emmitt and John Erdman.  In the back row are James Stephens, Tyler Sorague, Justin Sprague, Josh Adams and Ryan Johnson.  Photo courtesy of Expressway Park.

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Posted by on May 19 2014.
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