Waterford 13s unable to answer in World Series opener

Glen Allen, Va. - Waterford had an unpleasant welcome to the 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series at RF&P Park on Saturday morning against the Southwest champions from Chandler-Mesa, Ariz.

The pitching trio of Johnny Orneleas, Tommy Sortino and Nolan Gorman pitched a combined one-hitter as Arizona defeated Waterford 10-0 in a five-inning game that opened pool play.

Dylan Bosco started on the mound for Waterford and allowed just three earned runs over four innings, but the defense made costly errors, often times with two outs, that came back to haunt New England champion.

Arizona capitalized on the errors in the top of the third inning to score five runs. An error in right field on a single from Gorman allowed Orneleas to score after he led the inning off with a double, while Gorman advanced to third on the error. He scored on a fielder's choice the following at-bat.

Five batters later, an error on a line drive to second base, which would have been the third out, loaded the bases. That error led to a two-run single from Alex Palacios and a run scored on a passed ball.

Waterford was unable to answer.

Orneleas was 3-for-4 with three doubles and two to lead Arizona, while Palacios was 3-for-3 with two RBI.

"Our pitchers threw the ball well," Waterford coach Dan Santos said, "but our defense didn't help them out."

Waterford committed four errors in all, the third on a wild pickoff throw in the fourth, when Arizona added two runs. Orneleas scored on a sacrifice fly and Cody Hedalen drove in a run with a single.

Orneleas knocked in the final two runs of the game with a two-run double in the top of the fifth, an inning that was started off by the fourth Waterford error.

Kyle Kobyluck drew a walk in the bottom of the second inning and Max Adams singled in the third to represent the only Waterford runners.

"The bats were dead quiet the whole game. We swung at bad pitches. We never established a good at-bat," Santos said.

Santos said that first-game jitters from his squad aren't uncommon.

"We always come out in our first games a little shaky," he said. "Hopefully we can pull it back together."

Waterford's next game is 7 p.m. Monday against the Southeast champions from Greenville, N.C. Greenville and Waterford are members of the four-team American Division. Arizona is in the National Division.

Santos said it was important for his team to stay relaxed going into the second game of the tournament.

"(We'll) probably just keep them relaxed, nice and loose," he said. "When they are loose, they play better so we'll try to do that. Hopefully we'll be able to respond to the pressure."

Teams with the top three records from each division will advance after pool play to the knockout rounds, which start on Thursday.

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