The final round of National Division action at the Cal Ripken World Series on Wednesday saw the Middle Atlantic squad from Piedmont, Del. wrap up pool play with a perfect 4-0 record by topping the Southeast squad of West Raleigh, N.C., 7-6, while the host-team Hickory Hornets took their second win of the tournament, defeating the Midwest Plains team of Mineral Area, Mo., 13-3.
Piedmont and Raleigh, the latter which finished pool play with a 3-1 mark, earned berths in the tournament's elimination round, which will start on Friday.
Hornets take another win
The Harford County representatives had their bats working on Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park, as the Hickory Hornets notched double-digit runs in a 13-3 win over Mineral Area, Mo.
The game was halted after the fourth inning under the 10-run mercy rule.
The Hornets scored four times in the top of the first, while Mineral Area plated all three of its runs in the bottom half of the inning. They had three runs in the second, another in the third, then closed out with a five-run rally in the fourth.
Stelio Stakias and Jonah Einsig both had two hits, two RBIs and two runs in the victory. Cameron Kalandros had two RBIs and scored once, while Hornets teammate Steve Spencer went 1-for-1 with a home run and three runs scored.
Joshua Bogdan tossed four innings for the Hornets, striking out two, walking one and allowing two earned runs on three hits.
The victory put the Hornets at 2-2 for the tournament, while Mineral Area wrapped up the competition with an 0-4 mark.
Neither team will make it to the next round, but the Harford County team acquitted itself well in the tournament. One of its two losses was by 1-0 on opening night Friday to Piedmont, which has established itself as one of top squads in the series' U.S. group.
Hickory will play one additional game in the tournament on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. against the Southwest team at Cal Sr.'s Yard.
Piedmont wins in ninth
National Division winner Piedmont, Del. finished pool play in impressive fashion on Wednesday afternoon at Cal Sr.'s Yard, defeating the Southeast team from West Raleigh, N.C., 7-6, in a nine-inning marathon.
The Delaware squad, undefeated in four games, won Wednesday's matchup in the bottom of the ninth on a suicide squeeze play.
Up 6-2 after four innings of play, Piedmont watched the Raleigh squad scored twice in the fifth, then tie things up 6-6 in the sixth to force extra innings. Both teams were silent in the seventh and eighth.
Piedmont's Brian Gilardi went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs, while teammate Seth Bialecki went 3-for-3 with a team-best two runs scored.
Kohl Abrams and Tucker Jackson both had two RBIs for Raleigh, while Kyle Mott scored twice in the loss.
Piedmont reliever Seth Regan tossed three no-hit innings to earn the win.
Delaware takes win
The Piedmont, Del. team stormed to an 11-0 win over Mineral Area, Mo., Tuesday at Cal Sr.'s Yard.
The game was halted after the fifth inning under the 10-run mercy rule.
Piedmont, ahead 2-0 after scoring twice in the opening two innings, blew the game open in the third inning, plating six runs to go ahead 8-0. A three-run rally in the fourth capped scoring for the day.
The winning side's hottest bat belonged to Brian Gilardi, who went 2-for-3 with two doubles, four RBIs and one run scored. Seth Bialecki, Jack Hansen and Brendan Balthis each scored twice in the victory.
Piedmont starter Sean Regan struck out one, walked three and held Mineral Area to one hit over 3-1/3 innings of work to earn the win.
Raleigh drops Lexington
The Southeast representatives from West Raleigh, N.C., protected their spotless pool play record on Tuesday with an extra-inning victory, beating the Ohio Valley team from Southeast Lexington, Ky., 10-8, in seven innings at Cal Sr.'s Yard.
Lexington, trailing 8-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth, extended the game with a four-run rally that tied things at 8-8. Raleigh answered in the top of the seventh with a pair of runs, then shut Lexington down in the bottom half of the inning to seal a victory.
Raleigh's Victor Vargas was 2-for-3 with two doubles, one run and a team-leading three RBIs. Ryan Sholar hit a solo home run for the winning side.
Lexington's Evan Byers was 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored, while teammate Matthew Guilfoil was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. Matthew Johnson rapped out a solo home run in the loss.
The winning pitcher was Tucker Jackson, who struck out three, walked one and held Lexington to one earned run on two hits over two innings of relief work.