For Waterford 15s, an emotional finish

Longview, Wash. Manager David Laffey sat his team down in the dugout for the final time. From a distance, you could see the emotion in Laffey, coaches Kyle Jones, Kevin Petchark and the players on the Waterford 15-year-old Babe Ruth team, which had just ended a long run, culminating in a World Series berth.

The team from Puget Sound, Wash., defeated Waterford 6-2 Monday, eliminating Waterford (1-3) from advancing in the World Series.

"I told the kids that I was very proud of what they had accomplished this summer," Laffey said. "They played pretty well, but didn't show the type of team they really are out here.

"... When we knew we weren't going to make it to bracket play, I think a lot of the kids had already gotten on the plane to go home. That doesn't make it too tough for the other team to match (our intensity)."

Puget Sound, which was also eliminated from bracket play despite the win, had 13 hits and left 19 runners stranded. Waterford, meanwhile, had just four hits.

Puget Sound led 2-0 in the first inning, as it jumped on Waterford starter Jake Gannon with three straight hits. Waterford evened the score in the second inning, however.

Chase Speller walked and Justin Keating ripped a double to drive in Speller, who had stolen second base before Keating's blast. Keating moved to third on a ground out and scored on Ben Pickowitz's sacrifice fly.

Puget Sound regained the lead in the fourth. Waterford's Alex Petchark came on to pitch in relief and quickly retired the first two batters. Three straight hits, though, the last an RBI single by Darrin Neil, made it 3-2 in Puget Sound's favor.

The Pacific Northwest Regional champ, Puget Sound added a three-run fifth inning on a bases-loaded single from Alex Owens, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Colton Van Til.

Waterford had two runners on base in both the fifth and sixth innings, but couldn't get the key hit.

Speller, Keating, Tyler Yeomans and Cory Conderino had hits for Waterford, with Keating receiving the team's award as player of the game.

Joey Wick and Drew Barlow had two hits each for Puget Sound.


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