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A pair of five-run outbursts in the third and fourth innings propelled Jersey Mike’s to its first Wilson City Little League Minor League championship with a 13-5 victory over Vets Pets in Southern Bank Stadium.
While each team finished with four hits, the Jersey Mike’s offense closed the contest with 10 unanswered runs. Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the third, Nicholas Bynum’s double plated Anthony Ellis, who singled, and Bynum later scored on an error to tie matters.
Later in the half inning, Davis Pittman, Garrett Boswell and Zachary Long all coaxed out walks and came around to score. As Jersey Mike’s seized the lead for good, starting pitcher Elliott Wheeler reached his pitch count in the bottom of the fourth with two outs.
Wheeler, in earning the win, struck out five and walked three while allowing all four Vets Pets hits. Louis Betancourt entered and threw the final 1 1/3 innings without allowing a hit, striking out three and walking three.
Wheeler boosted the Jersey Mike’s cause offensively in its five-run fourth, roping a two-run single to extend the lead to 11-5. Prior to that, Azion Dawes drew a bases-loaded walk. Mitch Thurston’s walk reloaded the bases for Jersey Mike’s, and a two-run error off the bat of Ellis completed the scoring.
Vets Pets surged ahead in the early going, utilizing an RBI double by starting pitcher Christopher Lewis to plate Austin Coughlin. Lewis hit his pitch limit after two-plus innings and was left with a no decision.
The Vets Pets lead became 4-1 in the second on David Worth Joyner’s RBI groundout and Coughlin’s run-scoring single. On Coughlin’s hit, an additional run came across on one of five Jersey Mike’s errors. Vets Pets finished with four miscues in the field.
Jersey Mike’s made it 4-3 in the second after Betancourt scored on a passed ball and Connor Samson laced an RBI single that allowed Levi Anderson to score.
Before the late outburst, Vets Pets held its two-run advantage on Batten Joyner’s single that sent Lewis plateward.
Joyner took the loss in relief for Vets Pets, working one-third of an inning.
Coached by Jay Wheeler, Guy Pittman and Chris Boswell, Jersey Mikes is also represented by Juliana Jones, Charlie Oates, Garrett Boswell, Davis Pittman, Arion Edwards and Zach Long.
Score by innings:
Vets Pets 131 00 — 5
Jersey Mikes 125 5x — 13
WP-Elliott Wheeler 3 2/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO. LP-David Worth Joyner 1/3 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Jersey Mikes: Elliott Wheeler 1-2, 2 RBI, Anthony Ellis 1-2, Nicholas Bynum 1-2, 2B, RBI, Connor Samson 1-1, RBI; Vets Pets: Austin Coughlin 1-2, RBI, Christopher Lewis 1-3, 2B, RBI, Batten Joyner 1-3, RBI, Aston Holland 1-2.