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Glen Allen, Va. — Manufacturing runs can be an art form, relying on strategic usage of outs and precise hitting to get the desired outcome.
Waterford did just that Wednesday and was able to shut down the opposing team from Glacier, Mont., to take home a 7-6 win in the 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series at RF&P Park. Waterford finished the tournament 1-3.
"It's definitely nice to get a win here," Waterford manager Dan Santos said. "It was nice to put some things together; we did the little things and we got the W."
The key run came in the top of the sixth inning with the game tied 6-6. Kyle Kobyluck grounded to shortstop to lead off the inning, but an errant throw over the first baseman's head allowed Kobyluck to advance to second.
Then, Waterford went to work getting Kobyluck to score. Liam Spellman executed a sacrifice bunt, advancing Kobyluck to third, and Bobby Silva grounded to second base to drive in the eventual winning run.
While Waterford was unable to score in the sixth or seventh to give itself some insurance, the defense took over and made key plays to secure the win.
Noah Speller, who started the game on the mound and was replaced by Dylan Bosco, was a part of the final four outs of the game. He caught a line drive at third base to end the sixth, secured a tough grounder to start the bottom of the seventh and started the game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
Bosco came in at the end of a four-run third inning for Montana, got the final out of that inning and was able to shut down the Montana offense, allowing just one run over the final four innings.
"I hit my spots. I was just feeling really good," Bosco said
Whereas Waterford's game against North Carolina on Monday was a pitchers' duel, the game with Montana yielded a combined 13 runs on 22 hits.
Waterford put together a three-run third inning, which was keyed by a line drive by Spellman that ricocheted off the pitcher and went into no-man's land between first and second base, allowing two runs to score.
Both teams were eliminated from the knockout rounds prior to the game, with Waterford finishing fourth and Montana fifth in the American Division. The top three teams in each division advanced.
Despite that, heading back to Connecticut with a win meant a lot to the players.
"We got our first win of the World Series, that's pretty awesome," said Spellman, who was 2-for-2 with two RBI and was named player of the game.
"It shows pride in our town and our city," Bosco said.
The joy of getting to experience playing on such a big stage and getting to see another part of the country was also evident among the Waterford players.
"It was awesome," Spellman said. "I mean, this field is amazing."
Santos said while the team didn't play its best baseball in Virginia, the win will allow the players to head home on a good note.
"It's a great experience for the kids," he said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing and we did it in our first year. Every team wants to come here and we were lucky enough to be here."