By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on June 22, 2010 1:46 PM
In little league baseball, the team that makes the fewest mistakes almost always wins the game.
Such was the case on Monday night as the Grantham Green Machine bested the Rosewood Eagles 12-6 to claim the Wayne County Babe Ruth 8-U tournament crown at Nahunta Sports Complex.
The second-seeded Green Machine did not allow a run after the third inning and committed six errors over the course of the six-inning contest.
"The first inning the defense was kind of rough," said Grantham head coach Kevin Jones. "We had trouble throwing the ball to first base and I was really afraid that it would get away from us, but our kids turned it around."
Fifth-seeded Rosewood scored four runs in the top of the first inning on singles by Will Albert, Ty Bedford and Trent Lancaster. Two Grantham errors also contributed to the outburst.
The Green Machine answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning when Cole Matthews singled and was followed by base hits from Tanner Capps and Patrick Jones. A base hit from Kyle Matthews and a fielder's choice from Ryan Hore capped the rally.
Each team added a run in the second frame and Rosewood increased its lead to 6-4 in the top of the third.
That's when Jones made a promise to his squad.
"We are going to take the lead this inning and then we are going to add to it," Jones told his squad before coming to bat. "(Rosewood) has led the whole game so far, but it's our time to get ahead."
The Green Machine answered the call with four runs. Two errors opened the inning and Jones capitalized with a bases-clearing triple. Chris Mozingo singled and Kyle Matthews ended the four-run rally with a base hit.
Grantham added two runs in each of the final two innings and preserved the lead with some clutch defense. With a pair of Rosewood runners on base in the top of the sixth inning and two outs, Tanner Capps snagged a falling down catch to end the game and send the Green Machine into a wild celebration.
"We had a few chances but we couldn't capitalize," said Rosewood head coach Steve Adams. "There can only be one winner, but I am really proud of my guys for making it to the tournament finals and for refusing to give up."
After the game each player was awarded a medal for reaching the final game and the Green Machine were presented with the championship trophy.
"I am so excited for these kids to be in this position," said Jones. "They played hard all year and each one of the 13 players contributed to our season."