MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon 12U All-Star team came out to a slow start against the visiting Cambridge All-Star team in the semifinal game of Ohio Little League’s District 5 Tournament held at Phillips Park. While the Jackets trailed 6-1 in the bottom of the second inning, they came back to their senses in a robust third inning to seal a 23-6 run rule victory.
“You can’t continue to get down early, and expect to be able to always come back,” said MV All-Star coach Corey Firebaugh. “We need to tighten up our defense so we’re not getting behind.”
Firebaugh, however, was ecstatic of his team’s plate appearances, as a 15-run third inning allowed the Jackets to complete their comeback. Mount Vernon was able to work the pitch count well against Cambridge pitchers, scoring two runs off a walk and hit by pitch. Camden Firebaugh gave life to this rally with a single that scored two Jacket runners, and was his third RBI of the game. The big inning was also created with RBIs from Zac Clow, Hayden Higgins, Ethan Yost and Payton Hempfield. Caden Theibert, however, was the man of the inning with the final hit of the game. With bases loaded, Theibert launched a ball into deep left center for a grand slam, securing the win for Mount Vernon.
Though the end result was in favor for the Jackets, the beginning of the game was owned by Cambridge. In the first inning, Lincoln Gilcher singled into centerfield that scored two of his teammates, giving Cambridge a 2-0 lead.
Mount Vernon had a steady response scoring one run of their own to make the score 2-1 heading into the second. The Cambridge offense capitalized on Jackets defensive miscues to score four runs in the second. Rylee Wilson and Rylan Matthews both had two RBIs on the inning and Cambridge was up 6-1. The Jackets gained momentum with a big offensive inning in the second. Hayden Higgins collected two base hits and an RBI as the Jackets batted through the lineup. Yost batted in a Jacket runner and later stole home and Theibert hit a hard grounder into deep left center for a triple scoring three Jackets. The Jackets brought similar energy into the field for the top of the third, holding Cambridge to zero runs.
Cambridge opted not to pitch their ace Thursday and will face Guernsey County today, at Phillips Park at 6 p.m.
“We’ll comeback tomorrow with our aces and hope for the best,” said Cambridge head coach Bryan Wilson. “To just get to Saturday is what we’re just trying to do.”
As for Mount Vernon, they will be playing Saturday at 11 a.m. against the winner of the Guernsey County and Cambridge showdown. Mount Vernon will be without pitcher Firebaugh due to pitch restrictions as he threw three complete innings and struck out four in the win over Cambridge in the game.
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