By Rob Patrick
The East Texas champions from Nederland, Texas advanced to the winners bracket semifinals of the 2009 14-year-old Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Tournament with another five innings of shutout baseball on Saturday. An eight-run third broke open a tight game with Mississippi champion McComb as Nederland posted a 10-0 win.[more]
Korbin Stampley and Jake Jannise combined on the five-hit shutout which came on the heels of a 2-0 blanking of the host Bryant team in Nederland's opener on Friday night.
With the win, East Texas will take on the north Arkansas champion, Fort Smith Church on Sunday at 2:30. McComb had to come back later on Saturday afternoon to play Tri-County, the South Texas champion in an elimination game. (See related story on the site.)
Justin Sperl, Kanton Richard and Seth Barrow each had two hits for Nederland. Sperl and Richard each drove in two runs, as did Aaron Sampere and Zach Taylor.
McComb made a bid to break out on top initially when Gage Posey led off the top of the second with a double and took third on an errant pick off throw. With one out, Stampley walked Adrian Brown but he was thrown out trying to steal as Posey held at third. Stamper then fanned Brady Badon to end the threat.
Nederland took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning. Barrow blooped a one-out single, Mitchell Sanderson beat out an infield hit and Michael Shaw legged out a bunt single to load the bases. Taylor's sacrifice fly scored Barrow but Posey kept it to that by getting Sperl to ground into a force at second.
Tyler Stutsman singled with one out in the top of the third as McComb made a bid to tie it. Randy Bell was hit by a pitch but Stampley got out of the jam by starting a 1-6-3 doubleplay.
The third-inning outburst by Nederland commenced with a one-out single by Richard. Stampley singled and Sampere drove them both home with a long double to right-center. A single by Barrow and a walk to Sanderson loaded the bases and brought a pitching change. Bell came on and retired the first batter he faced but then he hit Taylor to force in a run and Sperl beat out a swinging bunt for an RBI single to make it, 5-0. He then appeared to be out of the inning with a grounder to short but a wild throw to second allowed two to score. Moments later, Richard singled to drive in two more and make it 9-0.
McComb tried to answer when Marquis Lewis and Posey opened the fourth with singles. But after Brandon Canny lined to the left, Lewis was picked off second. Brown walked but Stampley induced a pop to second to end the inning.
Jannise took over in the fifth and worked around an infield hit by Dante Bradberry and a hit batsman. And, in the bottom of the fifth, Jannise doubled and scored the game-ending run on a single by Sperl.