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West End 13s lose opener at World Series

PHOTO PROVIDED Members of the West End 13-year-old Babe Ruth all-star team pose together for a photo in Virginia with their Mid-Atlantic all-star uniforms. West End lost their opener to New England, 6-5, on Friday.

GLEN ALLEN, W.Va. — West End’s 13-year-old all-star team dropped its Babe Ruth World Series opener on Friday afternoon to Pittsfield, the New England Regional champions, 6-5, in Glen Allen, West Virginia.

The Babe Ruth World Series is a round-robin tournament which runs through Saturday, Aug. 20. West End plays the Virginia state champions today at 4 p.m. in their second game.

West End jumped out to a fast 4-1 lead after the first inning, but Pittsfield slowly worked its way back. Pittsfield scored twice in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to 4-3 and then took the lead with three runs in the top of the fifth for a 6-4 lead. West End scored a run in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 6-5, but Pittsfield prevented West End from tying the game in the sixth or seventh innings to secure the victory.

“We were telling the kids we were leaving them stick around in the ballgame. We had chances earlier that we could have extended the lead and I think that team could have crumbled on us, but we left them in it,” West End manager Marc Hess said. “We couldn’t get the big hit. We had guys on base on like second and third, then we’d have a strikeout. Stuff happens, it’s baseball.”

Both teams were held to six hits apiece.

LJ Miller, Zack Neill, Noah Kirby, Briar Persing, Trey Domschroder and Deshaun White all collected hits for West End. White had the team’s only extra-base hit when he had a double.

But the key situational hitting evaded West End in the loss.

“They walked a bunch of guys as well, we just couldn’t get the key hit with guys in scoring position all game long. Even in that first inning, I think we had three or four runs and then with bases loaded and one out, we only added one run,” Hess said. “We just didn’t get that big hit.”

Persing threw 3 1/3 innings on the mound, recording seven strikeouts. Walks though hurt West End as the Mid-Atlantic champions issued seven walks and a hit batter.

“At the end of the day when they’re only throwing 50% strikes. We had too many pitches and we went way too deep in count,” Hess said, noting Persing threw 73 pitches through 3 1/3 innings, but allowed just one hit.”

Hess and West End aren’t stressing over losing their opener, however. He knows it’s a round robin and they’re still in good shape to advance after pool play.

“We’re still fine, hopefully it wakes the kids up a little bit,” Hess said. “It’s round robin, have to win two of three of our last games, if not all three, but it’s not an elimination tournament.”

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