The Cleveland 10-year-old All-Stars have made an incredible run in the Dixie Youth AAA State Baseball Tournament in St. Martin.
Cleveland is 3-1 in the state tournament and will play Columbia in the title game tonight at 6 p.m. The winner will not only be the state champion but will go to the Dixie Youth AAA World Series in Lumberton, N.C. on Aug. 4-9. With Columbia being undefeated, Cleveland has to win twice tonight.
Cleveland defeated Lawrence County 6-3 Friday and St. Martin 10-5 on Saturday. On Sunday, Cleveland lost to Columbia 5-4 but battled back to defeat Pine Hills 13-0.
In Friday's contest against Lawrence County, Cleveland had some late-inning thunder by scoring two runs in the fourth and two runs in the fifth to take a 6-1 lead into the top of the sixth inning. Lawrence County scored two runs in the sixth but Cleveland held on for the victory. Both teams had five hits each but Cleveland didn't commit an error and got some key pitching performances.
Aiden Borganelli tossed the first three innings and gave up an unearned run on three hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Out of the 37 pitches he threw, 30 were strikes. Ryan Mallette tossed two shutout innings and gave up just one hit with one walk and four strikeouts in a 32-pitch effort that featured him throwing 19 strikes. Christian McKinney gave up two runs on two hits with two walks in a nine-pitch effort and Kellen Allen struck out a batter and gave up a hit in an inning of work to close the game out. Out of the 15 pitches Allen threw, 11 were strikes.
Allen led Cleveland at the plate with two hits, followed by Walker Cox with a hit and a run and Mallette and Borganelli with a hit each.
Against St. Martin, Cleveland outhit St. Martin 14-10.
Pitching wise for Cleveland, Allen started the game and tossed a 1 1/3 innings giving up an unearned run on a hit with a walk in a 15-pitch effort. Borganelli pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief and gave up three hits but no runs with three strikeouts and no walks. Out of the 30 pitches he threw, 22 were strikes. Morgan McMurry pitched an inning of relief and gave up two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and two walks in a 28-pitch effort, Mitchell Jones threw nine pitches and gave up two runs on three hits with no walks or strikeouts in an inning of work and McKinney tossed a scoreless, hitless inning to close out the game. He struck out a batter and walked a batter in a 14-pitch outing.
Borganelli led Cleveland at plate with three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored, followed by Mallette with two hits including a triple with two RBIs and two runs scored, Jones with two hits including a double with two runs and two RBIs, Barrett Bramlett with two hits, a RBI and two runs scored, Christian McKinney with two hits and a run scored, William Jeffreys with a hit and a run and Walker Cox and McMurry with a hit and a RBI each.
Against Columbia, Cleveland battled hard and scored first with two runs in the top of the first and scored another run in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. Columbia scored a run in the bottom of the second and three runs in the bottom of the third for a 5-3 advantage. Cleveland scored one more run in the fifth but couldn't get over the hump. Cleveland outhit Columbia 5-4.
Pitching wise for Cleveland, Mallette threw two innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on one hit with a strikeout and two walks in a 31-pitch effort. Allen gave up three runs on three hits with a strikeout and a walk in a 22-pitch effort over two-thirds of an inning and Borganelli struck out a batter and walked a batter in a 21-pitch effort over 2 1/3 shutout innings.
Mallette led Cleveland at the plate by tagging a hit and driving two runs, followed by Jeffreys Barrett Bramlett and McMurry with a hit and a run each and John Everette Still with a hit.
Against Pine Hills, Cleveland wrapped the game up in four innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. Cleveland’s offense racked up 14 hits.
McKinney, Allen, Borganelli and Bramlett combined on a two-hit shutout. McKinney pitched the first two innings and gave up two hits with two strikeouts and two walks in a 35-pitch effort, Allen struck out a batter and walked two in a 17-pitch effort in two-thirds of an inning, Borganelli struck out a batter and walked a batter in a 16-pitch, one-inning effort and Bramlett retired the only batter he faced in a six-pitch outing.
Bramlett led Cleveland at the plate with two hits, a triple and a double, with a RBI and two runs scored, followed by Mallette with two hits, a RBI and a run scored, Jones with two hits including a double with a run scored, Allen with two hits and a run scored, McKinney with a double, three RBIs and two runs scored, McMurry with a triple and two RBIs, Jeffreys with a double, a RBI and a run scored and Borganelli with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored.