Johnstown's Wukich tags Philadelphia's Constantini at home

Boosters advance to finals

Big seventh inning gives Vial breathing room

By Brian Varmecky

  New Orleans 9 - 1 Boston  Team Logo

    1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Boston   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 1 0   1 7 3
New Orleans   0 1 0   0 0 1   6 1 X   9 12 3

New Orleans advances to the championship game with a 9-1 win over preivously undefeated Boston. The Boosters got a great start from Brooks Vial and a strong throw from Troy Lewis to keep the Boston Astros off the board while nursing a 1-run lead. The Dixie bats came alive in the seventh and let New Orleans cruise the final two innings. Boston will next play the Johnstown/Altoona winner in the semi-finals, with that winner advancing to play New Orleans in the final game of the tournament.

Strong defense for both sides in the early innings

New Orleans took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Zachary Clark led off with a single and Jordan Romero was hit by a pitch. Owen Magee's sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, and Clark scored on a passed ball. The Boosters had the lead, but Boston starter Jonathan Matos gave them few chances to extend it. He had struck out two in the first and faced the minimum number of batters in the third, fouth, and fith innings thanks to a pair of double-plays.

New Orleans starter and #1 pitcher Brooks Vial was likewise stingy. He retired 15 of the first 18 batters he faced, allowing 1 walk and 2 hits, and struck out the side in the second inning. Frankely Gonzalez was the first Astro to reach base, but it took a slow dribbled in the fourth inning. A fly out and stolen base advanced Gonzalez to third. With Adam Woodhead at bat, a pitch from Vial bounced off catcher Romero and Gonzalez broke for home. Unfortunately for him, the ball died in the dirt a few feet from Romero, who recovered quickly and easily beat Gonzalez to the bag for the third out.

Boston's Sam Steeves Boston's Cruz Santana New Orleans pitcher Brooks Vial

Defensive gem from Lewis sparks Dixie offense

The sixth inning started with trouble for the Dixielanders as two errors put the first two Astros on the bases. With one out, Miguel Lorenzo smacked the ball into the left field corner and Sam Steeves was waved home from second. New Orleans left fielder Troy Lewis made a sensational throw and beat Steeves by a full stride to preserve the lead. Boston stranded two runners with a fly out to right.

"I think that basically took the pressure off [our team]," said New Orleans manager Joe Teuton. "When Troy made the throaw at the plate, the guys finally relaxed and had better approaches at the plate. After that we had some really good at bats."

With momentum from Lewis' throw, the Booster added a run in the sixth. With one out, Lewis singled to centerfield. A single by Ducote and a double from Clark brought Lewis around to score.

The seventh inning changed the game from a nailbiter to a rout. With Matos still on the mound, Magee led off with a walk. Justin Nussbaum feigned a bunt and slapped the ball past short for a single. Daniel Lahare's bunt in the dirt was thrown away, which allowed him to reach second and scored Magee. Freeman then singled to left-center, scoring both Nussbaum and Lahare. An poor throw by the third baseman on what should have been the third out allowed Dylan Weston to reach and kept the inning alive. Clark then doubled to left, and Romero's double past short brought in Freeman and Weston. Boston brought Bryan Guerrero on in relief and he induced a fly out to right, but the damage had been done as New Orleans now lead 8-0.

Boston ends shutout but cannot rally

Boston broke Vial's shutout in the eighth, but could manager only a single run. Steeves singled to center to open the frame. He advanced on a sacrifice bunt and Gonzalez's single to left. A ground out by Lorenzo score Steeves from third. New Orleans got that run back in the bottom of the inning as Freeman and Lewis hit back to back two-out doubles. Schwaner closed the game with a 3-up/3-down ninth. Right fielder Lahare ended the game with a flourish as he dove forward to catch Guerrero's pop up and end the game.

New Orleans secondbaseman Cole Freeman was injured in the seventh inning when Ervin Kantardzic slid into second bae. Freeman suffered a laceration on his ankle from Kantardzic's cleat which required stitches after the game. Although the game was delayed for several minutes, Freeman stayed at second base and is expected to be ready to play tomorrow, as well.

New Orleans catcher Jordan Romero
tags out Boston's Frankely Gonzalez in the fourth
New Orleans left fielder Troy Lewis New Orleans left fielder Troy Lewis threw out
Boston's Sam Steeves at home in the sixth

Unofficial Play-by-Play Recap 

1 - Jonathan Matos; 2 - Miguel Lorenzo; 3 - Adam Woodhead; 4 - Cruz Santana; 5 - Sam Steeves; 6 - Frankely Gonzalez; 7 - Ervin Kantardzic; 8 - Sean Webster; 9 - Lionel Danielson; DH - Nick Powers

1 - Brooks Vial; 2 - Jordan Romero; 3 - Dylan Weston; 4 - Cole Freeman; 5 - Owen Magee; 6 - Justin Nussbaum; 7 - Troy Lewis; 8 - Zachary Clark; 9 - Daniel Lahare; DH - Cody Ducote

1st INNING - Boston
Pitcher: Brooks Vial
2WebsterOUT 1 - Strike out
3GonzalezOUT 2 - Fly out to right
4LorenzoOUT 3 - Ground out 6-3
0 R 0 H 0 E 0 LOB = no score
1st INNING - New Orleans
Pitcher: Jonathan Matos
1FreemanOUT 1 - Strike out
21LewisHIT - Single to left
5DucoteLewis steals second base
OUT 2 - Ground out 5-3; Lewis to third
23RomeroOUT 3 - Swinging strike out
0 R 1 H 0 E 1 LOB = no score
2nd INNING - Boston
Pitcher: Brooks Vial
18PowersOUT 1 - Strike out
16WoodheadOUT 2 - Strike out
15DanielsonOUT 3 - Strike out
0 R 0 H 0 E 0 LOB = no score
2nd INNING - New Orleans
Pitcher: Jonathan Matos
22ClarkHIT - Ground ball single to left
27WestonClark steals second
Hit by pitch
7MagooOUT 1 - Sacrifice bunt; runners advance
2Nussbaum1-RUN - Pass ball scores Clark
OUT 2 - Pop out to second
17LahareOUT 3 - Fly out to center
1 R 1 H 0 E 2 LOB = New Orleans leads 1-0
3rd INNING - Boston
Pitcher: Brooks Vial
12KantardzicBase on balls
1SantanaOUT 1 - Sacrifice bunt 1-3; Kantardzic to second
9SteevesOUT 2 - Fielder's choice 6-3
2WebsterOUT 3 - Called strike out
0 R 0 H 0 E 1 LOB = New Orleans leads 1-0
3rd INNING - New Orleans
Pitcher: Jonathan Matos
1FreemanHIT - Single to center
21LewisOUTS 1 & 2 - Double play 4-6-3
5DucoteOUT 3 - Fly out to left
0 R 1 H 0 E 0 LOB = New Orleans leads 1-0
4th INNING - Boston
Pitcher: Brooks Vial
3GonzalezHIT - Bunt single
4LorenzoOUT 1 - Swinging strike out
18PowersOUT 2 - Sacrifice fly out to right; Gonzalez to second
16WoodheadOUT 3 - Gonzalez tagged out by Romero trying to steal home on passed ball
0 R 1 H 0 E 0 LOB = New Orleans leads 1-0
4th INNING - New Orleans
Pitcher: Jonathan Matos
23RomeroE5 - Third baseman cannot handle hard hit
22ClarkOUTS 1 & 2 - Double play 6-3
27WestonOUT 3 - Ground out 4-3
0 R 0 H 1 E 0 LOB = New Orleans leads 1-0
5th INNING - Boston
Pitcher: Brooks Vial
16WoodheadOUT 1 - Swinging strike out
15DanielsonHIT - Infield dribbled not fielded by secondbaseman
12KantardzicOUT 2 - Ground out 6-3
1SantanaOUT 3 - Fly out to right
0 R 1 H 0 E 1 LOB = New Orleans leads 1-0
5th INNING - New Orleans
Pitcher: Jonathan Matos
7MagooOUT 1 - Ground out 4-3
2NussbaumOUT 2 - Fly out to right
17LahareOUT 3 - Ground out 4-3
0 R 0 H 0 E 0 LOB = New Orleans leads 1-0
6th INNING - Boston
Pitcher: Brooks Vial
9SteevesE1 - Pitcher knocked ball down and could not recover it
2WebsterE - Sacrifice bunt but throw is wild; Webster safe at first; Steeves to second
3GonzalezOUT 1 - Fly out to short right
4LorenzoHIT/OUT 2 - Single to left; Lewis throws out Steeves at home 7-2
18PowersOUT 3 - Fly out to right
0 R 1 H 2 E 2 LOB = New Orleans leads 1-0
6th INNING - New Orleans
Pitcher: Jonathan Matos
1FreemanHIT - Ground ball single to left
21LewisOUT 1 - Freeman caught stealing
HIT - Single to center
5DucoteHIT - Single to right
23RomeroOUT 2 - Fly out to left
22ClarkHIT/1-RUN - Double to left; Lewis scores from second; Ducote to second
27WestonOUT 3 - Ground out 5-3
1 R 3 H 0 E 2 LOB = New Orleans leads 2-0
7th INNING - Boston
Pitcher: Brooks Vial
16WoodheadOUT 1 - Swinging strike out
15DanielsonBase on balls
12KantardzicOUT 2 - Strike out
Danielson steals second
1SantanaOUT 3 - Swinging strike out
0 R 0 H 0 E 1 LOB = New Orleans leads 2-0
7th INNING - New Orleans
Pitcher: Jonathan Matos
DEFENSIVE CHANGE: Jamel Vilmont enters to paly left field
DEFENSIVE CHANGE: Ervin Kantardzic moves to first base
7MagooBase on balls
2NussbaumHIT - Ground ball single to left after feigned bunt
17LahareE2/1-RUN - Bunt attempt thrown wild by catcher; Magoo scores from second; Nussbaum to third; Lahare to second
1FreemanHIT/2-RUNS - Single to left-center; Nussbaum scores; Lahare scores
21LewisFreeman steals second
OUT 1 - Fly out to right
5DucoteFreeman steals third, no throw
OUT/1-RUN - Fly out to left; Freeman scores
23RomeroE5 - Lazy throw bounces in front of first baseman
22ClarkHIT - Double to left field; Romero to third
27WestonHIT/2-RUNS - Double past short; Romero scores; Clark scores; Weston to second on throw home
PITCHING CHANGE: Manny Peguero for Jonathan Matos
7MagooOUT 3 - Fly out to right
6 R 5 H 2 E 1 LOB = New Orleans leads 8-0
8th INNING - Boston
Pitcher: Brooks Vial
9SteevesHIT - Single to center
2WebsterOUT 1 - Sacrifice bunt; Steeves to second
3GonzalezHIT - Single to left
PITCHING CHANGE: Tyler Schwaner for Brooks Vial
4LorenzoGonzalez takes second on indifference
OUT 2/1-RUN - Ground out 4-3; Steeves scores
18PowersOUT 3 - Swinging strike out
1 R 2 H 0 E 1 LOB = New Orleans leads 8-1
8th INNING - New Orleans
Pitcher: Manny Peguero
DEFENSIVE CHANGE: Bryan Guerrero enters to catch
DEFENSIVE CHANGE: Miguel Lorenzo moves to first base
2NussbaumOUT 1 - Swinging strike out
17LahareOUT 2 - Fly out to center
1FreemanHIT - Double to left
21LewisHIT/1-RUN - Double scores Freeman
5DucoteOUT 3 - Ground out 4-3
1 R 2 H 0 E 1 LOB = New Orleans leads 9-1
9th INNING - Boston
Pitcher: Tyler Schwaner
14VilmontOUT 1 - Ground out 4-3
15DanielsonOUT 2 - Ground out 5-3
10GuerreroOUT 3 - Fly out to right caught on a dive
 R  H  E  LOB = New Orleans wins 9-1

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