With the score tied 5-5 and the Eagles 10U Travel Team down to their last bat as the home team in the bottom of the fifth inning of the classic Pueblo tournament, Liam Eder hit a single and then promptly stole two bases while Jax Cordova was at the plate. Cordova got the ball in play and hit Eder in for the winning run and the championship.
The Denny Stilson Memorial Tournament was held at Runyon Field in Pueblo with many divisions all playing on the multiple fields in the complex. The Eagles 10U, consisting of players from Eads and two from Walsh, won the 10U division by staying perfect throughout the two-day tournament. In pool play they would defeat the Pueblo Indians 10U, 11-4 in the first game, and then trounced on the Gamewreckers, 17-1 in the second game on Saturday.
They would enter the tournament in the top seed with their record and had to, ironically, play both the Gamewreckers and the Indians to get into the championship on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles 10U defeated the Gamewreckers in the quarterfinals, 18-3, and then finished off the Pueblo Indians, 11-7, in the semifinals.
That set up a beauty of a game in the championship taking on the Pueblo Raptors. The two teams battled for the advantage throughout the contest tying at 3-3 after two innings and then 5-5 after four innings. It would take the walk-off hit by Jax Cordova to bring Eder’s winning run across.
This was the third tournament this season that the Eagles 10U have been in the championship contest as they won an early-season Dodge City Tournament and then placed second in the Dodge City Tournament in the 11U division in mid-June.
In the first game of pool play on Saturday morning it took a come-from-behind rally to grab the win over the Pueblo Indians, 11-4. The Eagles were down 4-1 going into the fourth when the Eagles 10U exploded for 10 runs to put the game on ice. The Indians batted in the top of the fifth inning, but they were held off by the Eagles.
The Eagles 10U bottom of the fourth inning bonanza was started by Luke Barnett who singled to third base to start the inning. Eder then walked. Mason Sierra came to the plate and a fielder’s choice to second base got Eder but scored Barnett rounding third and hustling home. Mayz Gourley then walked and joined Sierra on the base pads. Dallas Alley walked to juice the bases for Jaxon Bohlander who hit a ground ball single scoring Sierra.
With the bases still loaded Chael Cordova singled to right field scoring both Gourley and Alley. Will Barnett then singled over second base scoring Bohlander and moving Cordova to third. Barnett ended up in scoring position on second base. Brantley Buller then juiced the bases again with a walk. Cordova then scored on a wild pitch moving Barnett to third and Buller to second base. Jax Cordova then came to the plate and tripled on a big hit to center field that hit the ground just in front of the fence on the warning track scoring Will Barnett and Buller.
Luke Barnett then came back around in his second at-bat of the inning and pulled a walk. Jax Cordova scored on a wild pitch. Eder then joined Barnett on the base pads with a walk. Barnett would get around and score and Eder would be left on base when the Eagles finally got their third out.
The Eagles only had 5 hits including one coming from Bohlander, Chael Cordova, Will Barnett, Jax Cordova and Luke Barnett. Dallas Alley walked twice and scored twice. Luke Barnett scored twice. Chael Cordova had 3 RBIs and Jax Cordova added 2 RBIs in the game.
Eder and Sierra each stole two bases apiece while Jax Cordova, Gourley, Alley and Luke Barnett all stole one base.
Alley started the contest on the bump going 3 innings, giving up 2 hits and one earned run, walked 5 and struck out 7.
Eder would get the win in one inning of work giving up no hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk and a strike out. Buller closed the show going 1 inning giving up no hits, no runs, no walks and struck out all three batters.
The final game on Saturday was against the Gamewreckers in the pool play. The Eagles 10U scored 15 runs in the bottom of the first inning to get the win 17-1. They would scatter 10 hits around the field in the game.
Jax Cordova, Alley, Bohlander, and Will Barnett all had 2 hits in the game while Madyx Hough and Gourley each had one hit. Jax Cordova, Gourley, Alley, Bohlander, Chael Cordova, Hough and Luke Barnett all scored two runs, while Eder, Will Barnett and Buller each added a run apiece.
Bohlander had 3 RBIs. Alley, Eder and Will Barnett each added two RBIs apiece. Will Barnett led the way on the base pads with 3 stolen bases. Gourley, Bohlander and Luke Barnett each had 2 steals apiece; while Buller, Hough, Jax Cordova and Alley each added a steal apiece.
Luke Barnett completed the first game on the hill in his career getting the win as the right-hander went 3 innings giving up no hits and one earned run. He would walk 6 but struck out 7 batters.
The Eagles 10U team were seeded high in the Sunday tournament bracket and had to beat the Gamewreckers again the next morning in the quarterfinals. The Eagles would win the contest 18-3 after scoring 9 runs in the first inning and 8 runs in the second inning. They scattered 10 hits around the field.
Multiple hits came from Eder, Jax Cordova, Gourley and Bohlander. Eder, Gourley, Alley, Chael Cordova, Will Barnett, Bohlander and Sierra each scored 2 runs apiece. Three RBIs came from Will Barnett.
The winning pitcher on the hill was Hough who went 2 innings giving up one hit and 1 earned run, walking 2 and striking out 4 batters. Eder would come in relief for one inning giving up no hits, 0 earned runs, walked 2 and struck out one batter.
The semifinals saw the Eagles 10U facing up with a good Pueblo Indians team for a second time in the tournament. The Eagles got the win 11-7. They would pull away for good by scoring seven runs in the second inning. In the second Luke Barnett singled o a 2-2 count, scoring one run, Gourley doubled on a 0-1 count, scoring two runs, an error scored two runs for the Eagles 10U team, Chael Cordova reached on a dropped third strike and Will Barnett grounded out but scored one run during the inning.
Things got a little shaky for the Eads pitchers as they gave up too many walks and allowed the Indians to score in each of the second, third and fourth inning in a slow but deliberate march. They would score 3 times in the top of the fourth and it was all the Eagles could do to shut them down.
The Eagles did have 8 hits compared to just 2 for the Indians. Eder, Gourley and Luke Barnett each hit multiple times with Gourley pounding out a double. Luke Barnett, Bohlander and Gourley each had 2 RBIs. Two runs came from Eder, Gourley, Alley and Hough.
Eder had three stolen bases, while Gourley added two steals. Stolen bases also came from Bohlander, Alley, Hough, Luke Barnett and Will Barnett.
The Eagles had to throw everyone at the Indians as three different pitchers took to the hill for Eads. The winning pitcher was Alley. Gourley started the game and went 1.1 innings giving up no hits, 1 earned run, 4 walks and 2 strike outs. Alley lasted 1.2 innings giving up a hit, 5 earned runs, 5 walks and struck out 5 more. Eder came in for one strong inning that put the stop to the Indians’ run giving up one hit, but allowing no runs, walked none and had one strikeout.
The championship game against the Pueblo Raptors was a classic one as both teams had tremendously strong defenses. The Raptors scored first in the top of the first inning getting one across. But the Eagles came back scoring 2 runs in the bottom of that inning to grab an early 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the first the Eagles did the damage with two outs as Gourley hit a line drive single past shortstop to start the rally. Alley then singled to shortstop and Gourley ended up on third base. Bohlander then got the ball in play and arrived on an error by the first baseman while both Gourley and Alley got around and scored.
The Raptors tied the game in the top of the second inning, 2-2, when they got one player across. But the Eagles answered and took the lead back, 3-2, in the bottom of that inning when Will Barnett started the at-bat with a ground ball single to third and then got around the bases to third. Sierra’s sack bunt with one out scored Barnett.
The Raptors then tied the game in the top of the third inning, 3-3, as an error hurt the Eagles in that stanza. The Eads group did not score in the bottom of the third, but they held off the Raptors in the top of the fourth and the game was still tied, 3-3, going into the bottom of the fourth when the Eads group got 2 plated.
In that stanza Will Barnett started the run again as he pulled a walk as the first batter to the plate. Buller finally grounded out, but he aided Barnett to get to third base. Barnett would then steal home on a head’s up hustle play. Sierra walked with one out and Hough moved Sierra to third base on a sac fly to right field. With Luke Barnett at the plate a passed ball scored Sierra.
The Raptors went to work trailing 5-3 in the top of the fifth inning. The Eagles’ ace pitcher Buller was up at around 90 pitches and walked the first two batters. The Eagles tried Chael Cordova but a couple of a walks and a fielder’s choice was all Cordova could do, and Alley then came to the mound with one out and runners in scoring position at second and third base. Alley would strike out the next two batters saving any more damage.
The Eagles were down to their last at-bat with the score tied. They were at the top of their order with one of the more aggressive base runners in Eder at the plate. Eder worked the count to full and then slipped in a single just to the side of the pitcher. The fast Eder made it to first representing the winning run. With Jax Cordova at the plate working the pitcher, Eder took second base and then stole third. Cordova got the ball in play and was safe on an error at first. On the hit Eder scored the championship-winning run.
The Eagles had six hits in the game as Gourley had 2 hits, while Eder, Alley, Will Barnett and Luke Barnett each added key hits in the contest. Will Barnett scored twice while Eder, Gourley, Alley and Sierra each scored one run. Jax Cordova had the only RBI, and it was a doozy as it won the game.
Will Barnett had 3 stolen bases. Gourley, Bohlander, Alley and Sierra each had 2 steals, and Eder added one more.
Buller got the big win on the bump as the right-hander went 4 innings giving up just 2 hits, 3 earned runs, 3 walks and struck out a phenomenal 11 batters. Cordova saw .1 inning of work and Alley finished it with .2 innings striking out 2 batters.
Winning the Denny Stilson Memorial Tournament was a big accomplishment for this group from Eads as they all earned championship rings for their efforts.