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Glen Allen, Va. - A fourth-inning rally by Gainesville-Haymarket (Va.) cut short Waterford's bid for its first win in the Babe Ruth Baseball 13-year-old World Series on Tuesday.
The Virginia state champion wiped out a 3-0 deficit by scoring five times in the fourth and cruised to a 9-3 victory, eliminating New England champion Waterford from advancing to the single-elimination phase of the tournament.
Waterford, 0-3 in American Division pool play, finishes its season this morning at 10 against Glacier (Mont.), another winless team.
"There's one last chance for you to make your presence known and let them know what Waterford baseball is," Waterford manager Dan Santos told his team after the game.
Coming off a devastating 3-2 loss to Greenville (N.C.) on Monday night, Waterford got off to a fast start on Tuesday when Max Adams, Waterford's starting pitcher and leadoff hitter, drew a walk to start the game and scored two outs later when Dylan Bosco reached on a throwing error to give Waterford an early 1-0 lead.
Waterford then padded its lead in the third. Another leadoff walk, this one to shortstop Trevor Yeomans, was the catalyst for this rally. Catcher Noah Speller drove in Yeomans later in the inning on a fielder's choice for the second run of the game. After advancing to third base, Speller took advantage of an attempted pickoff play at second and sprinted home, extending the lead to 3-0.
Adams dominated unbeaten Gainesville-Haymarket (3-0) for three innings, inducing six infield groundouts along the way.
But things unraveled for Adams and Waterford in the fourth. Gainesville-Haymarket catcher Jack Velardi led off the inning with a single and immediately stole second. Julian Moran and Drew Wann both followed with singles, Wann's scoring Veldardi to cut the deficit to 3-1.
A double by Nathan Boyle scored Moran to make it 3-2 and a bunt by Andrew Casey brought Wann home to tie the game.
Two more singles found the outfield and gave Gainesville-Haymarket two more runs and a 5-3 lead after four.
"It started with a ball that should've been caught, probably," Santos said. "We needed to be more aggressive in the outfield."
After taking the mound in relief in the third inning, Gainesville-Haymarket's Jared Johnson cruised through the Waterford lineup once his team took the lead. He only allowed one hit the rest of the game, pitching five shutout innings.
"(Johnson) was mixing in his curveball well, and we weren't really making any adjustments at the plate at all," Santos said.
The combination of Johnson's strong pitching and a pair of two-run innings to finish out the game ended Waterford's chance at a comeback, although Santos expects his team to finish strong when it plays together one last time today.