Squirrels sneak into World Series bracket play by run differential
ANDALUSIA, Ala. -- After winning two-straight games to open the Senior Babe Ruth World Series the Charleston Fighting Squirrels looked to be firmly in control of their own destiny.
Back-to-back losses on Monday, however, left Charleston playing the waiting game last night to see whether or not they would advance from pool play.
Fortunately for the Squirrels, fate was on their side and they'll now face the Mobile, Ala., 18U Rawdogs to open up bracket play today at 4 p.m.
Charleston needed just one win to ensure their advancement into Tuesday's single-elimination tournament, but came up short in both attempts.
It was the first two losses the Squirrels had endured since postseason play began.
Taking on Onondaga, New York less than 12 hours after their 3-2 win over San Benito, Cali., the night before, the Squirrels were dealt a 6-3 defeat during their morning game and looked to rebound that afternoon against Mobile, Ala., 16U team.
Against Mobile, Charleston took an early two-run lead only to see a late rally lead to a 3-2 extra-inning loss. Two straight one-run rallies in the second and third innings had the Squirrels in the driver's seat as starting pitcher Brad Potts took a no-hit bid into the top of the seventh inning.
A dropped third strike to the first batter of the frame fueled a Mobile comeback as they went on to score two runs in the inning, including the tying run on a wild pitch.
Back up in the bottom of the seventh, Charleston had several opportunities to end the game in walk off fashion. Ian Householder reached to lead off the inning on an error before Chase Young reached on a walk to leave runners on first and second with no outs.
Two-straight pop ups with the heart of the order at the plate derailed the rally and a final strikeout ended the threat. It was in the eighth when Mobile scored the winning run on another wild pitch.
Tyler Anderson took the loss after pitching the final frame, where he gave up a hit and two walks while being credited with an earned run.
Potts went seven full innings, allowing two hits, three walks and one earned run. He struck out seven in the process
Potts' initial six, no-hit innings against Mobile added to his complete-game no-hitter to end regionals left the young hurler with a staggering 13-straight innings where he didn't surrender a hit.
Despite the disappointment of two-straight losses the Squirrels live to fight another day as the way the rest of Monday's tournament action played out left them as one of the top three teams in their pool.
Charleston now stand as one of only six teams left competing for a national title. Unlike in the state and regional tournaments, this week's bracket play will be single elimination, meaning it will take three-straight wins for Charleston to walk away champions.