Collins’ game-winning hit leads Rountree to 5-and 6-year old championship
Published 11:13 pm Thursday, June 2, 2016
During the third inning of Thursday night’s 5-and 6-year-old championship game, things weren’t going JaCorey Collins’ way.
The third baseman for the Roundtree Outdoors team didn’t step on third base for what could’ve been a routine out and on a play shortly after he didn’t throw the ball to where his coaches were yelling for him to.
Two innings later, Collins’ was all smiles — just like the rest of the Rountree team.
Collins’ had the game-winning hit — a 2-RBI single — during Rountree’s last at-bat of the game. His hit scored Cameron Davis and Octavius Tyus and gave Rountree a 17-16 win and the city’s 5-and 6-year-old championship.
“That shows the character and heart of a ball player that you can go out there and make a mistake and get down on yourself. Then you come back in and get a hit and then you come in and you’re in that situation to win the game and you win the game,” said Rountree coach Roosevelt Walker. “That’s character and heart.”
After Air Pro won Thursday’s first game 15-5, the teams had to battle it out in a winner-take-all championship contest.
It was back and forth the entire way. Singles by Hayes Moore and Christopher Britt helped Air Pro take a 5-0 lead after its first at-bat of the game. In the bottom half of the inning, Rountree answered with five runs of its own.
Collins doubled and Davis, DeMarco Spicer and Omarion Moultrie scored to tie the game up at 5-5.
In the top of the second, Air Pro added a run when Bentley Sims scored. Rountree took the lead on a triple by Devin Sharpe and led 9-6 after the second inning.
The lead continued to swap hands in the third inning.
Air Pro scored five times in the third, only to be overtaken by Rountree’s five runs in the bottom of the evening.
In the fourth and final inning, the pressure ratcheted up for each side.
Air Pro had to score at least three runs to keep the game going and managed to score five. A double by Mason Lowe gave Air Pro the lead at 15-14. Britt’s single scored Drake Nichols to chip in one more run, giving Air Pro a two point advantage going into the bottom of the inning.
It didn’t take long for Rountree to get back in front for good.
Sharpe and Tyus led off the inning with singles, clearing the stage for Collins to bring them home to win the championship.
“After they got beat the first game, we came back and did what we had to do,” Walker said.
Air Pro took charge early in the first game with seven runs in the first inning. Led by John Henry Adams’ defense, Air Pro kept Rountree under two runs in every inning of game one.
“I took them down the third base side [after the game] and said ‘look, we’ve got to have fun. We’ve got to catch the ball and do the routine stuff. If you do the routine stuff and have fun, you’ll win the game and that’s what happened,’” Walker said.