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Reds Defeat Sidewinders in 18+ National Series in Atlanta MABL

Atlanta MABL, 18+ National Division

Atlanta Reds 4, Sidewinders 3 (Game three)

Back Row L-R: Brandon Moss, Don Pike, Mark Ortega, Will Scott, Andrew Parrish, TJ Page, Keelan Waters, Brandon Boggs, Raphael Almonte, Dion Tenney. Front Row L-R: James Connell, Rocco Callaway, Tyler Massey, Jordy Moreno, Michael Axt, Jeremy Talboy, Julius Thames. Missing: Stantrell Smith, Levi Austin, Jamie Sexton, James Martinez, Josh Dechandt, Nathan Upchurch, Nile Going

‘Thames Comes Up Big in Rubber Game’

Submitted by Don Pike, League President

Game 1: Reds 7, Sidewinders 2

Pitcher Levi Austin for the Atlanta Reds threw 3-hit ball through 6 1/3 innings to hold the Sidewinders to one run.  Meanwhile, Dan Dale of the Sidewinders put his perfect 10-0 record on the line, but the Reds responded with a breakout inning in the fourth.  Stantrell Smith led off the inning with a solo home run. That was followed by a single by Julius Thames and a strike out.  Brandon Boggs then hit an RBI triple followed by a walk.  Jordy Moreno then hit an RBI single to score Boggs, giving the Reds a 3-0 lead.  In the sixth inning, the Reds exploded again starting with a base hit by Andrew Parrish, a fly out and then a single by Thames and a walk by Moss, loading the bases. Brandon Boggs then took Dale downtown with a grand slam, scoring four and giving the Reds a 7-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the sixth Joe Wilson doubled for the Sidewinders and scored on an error to give the Sidewinders their first run.  Austin tired in the seventh, giving up three walks and a hit batsman to allow another run - Reds led 7-2.  Austin was relieved by Will Scott in the seventh.  Scott scattered three hits over the next three innings, but did not allow any runs.  Dale shut down the Reds after the grand slam, but the horse was already out of the barn for a 7-2 Reds victory.

Game 2: Sidewinders 1, Reds 0

Later that afternoon, the Reds threw Jamie Sexton against Chris Cumberland for the Sidewinders. It was an incredible pitcher’s duel. The Reds were limited to five hits and the Sidewinders three.  Cumberland was relieved by Dan Lazzaroni after 8 1/3.  Sexton threw the complete game. 

The Sidewinders turned double plays against the Reds in the fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings.  The only run of the game came on a weird play in the top of the sixth inning when Bryan Carroll was hit by a pitch, followed by a hard double to center field by Jason Creel.  Carroll scored on a fielder’s choice when Matthew Weaver’s swinging bunt hugged the first base line!  The Sidewinders took the game 1-0 to tie the series.

Game 3: Reds 4, Sidewinders 3

The hard fought series moved to the rubber game the next day.  The Sidewinders came out hitting, scoring three runs on seven hits over the first three innings versus Red’s pitcher TJ Page.  The Reds answered with one run in the third inning versus Ted Pratt of the Sidewinders.  The Reds brought in James Connell to pitch in the fourth.  Connell pitched three scoreless innings, including inducing a double play in the sixth.  Pratt was on the wild side, giving up several walks.  In the seventh inning, he walked Mark Ortega, who was sacrificed to second by Dion Tenney.  Then Pratt hit Axt and walked Parrish.  Julius Thames then came up big, doubling over center fielder Adam Dawkins’ head, driving in two runs and tying the game at 3-3. 

With the bases loaded, Joe Rodriguez was brought in to relieve by the Sidewinders.  Brandon Boggs walked, scoring the Reds fourth run. Rodriguez closed the game for the Sidewinders and Will Scott finished up for the Reds.  Jason Whitfield doubled in the ninth for the Sidewinders but was stranded on third base.  The Reds won 4-3 and took the NL 18+ Atlanta MABL championship.

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