From the mound, Brenton Spickerman of West Linn, Ore., delivered what he calls "the kill shot" in yesterday's upset of the day, a surprise 2-1 victory over previously unbeaten Glen Allen, Va., in the United States playoffs of the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen.
A wiry right-hander, Spickerman threw a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts and six walks in shutting down the hard-hitting Virginians, led by Jacob Mayers.
"I really wanted it, wanted to give them the kill shot and knock them out," said a smiling Spickerman, who came within an out of a no-hitter. "I knew they could hit and we talked about pitching to him [Mayers] and I didn't care if I struck him out or not, I just wanted to get him out."
Spickerman twice struck out Mayers, who entered the game with three homers, before walking him with one on and two outs in the fifth, as the Oregon team advanced to the U.S. title game vs. Hilo, Hawaii, at 3:30 p.m. today at Ripken Stadium.
West Linn took advantage of four passed balls and a wild pitch by Glen Allen starter Beau Flinchum to score twice in its initial at-bat. Brian D'Amore scored on a passed ball and Ryan Pearson on a wild pitch to give Spickerman all the runs he needed to end Glen Allen's 14-game winning streak through state, region and World Series play.
"[Spickerman] threw extremely well and was effectively wild," said Glen Allen manager Tom Mayers.
Jacob Mayers, who threw the last two innings for his team and was hitting the radar gun at 81 mph while warming up and the high 70s in striking out six and walking one, said Spickerman surprised him by "throwing high fastballs with two strikes" to get him swinging twice.
West Linn right fielder Pearson made a nice running catch to his left on a liner by Zack Jezouit leading off the fifth to keep the no-hitter going.
After Spickerman issued a walk, center fielder Tanner Kewley tracked a drive by Jordan Tarsovich and made a fine over-the-shoulder catch for the second out. Pitching carefully, Spickerman walked Mayers on a 3-1 pitch and then caught Flinchum looking for strike three.
In the final inning, after second baseman Jack Simon made a nifty play to his left for the second out, Jake Snyder lined a single into left-center to break up the no-hitter and shutout, as Kyle Stanley, who had reached on an error, scored.
The game ended on shortstop Barnes' unassisted force at second base.
"Brenton made us a little nervous a couple times, but he has won a lot of big games for us," West Linn manager Gary Barnes said.
Hilo, Hawaii 6, Lexington, Ky. 5: Kolten Wong's two-run homer to right-center in the bottom of the fifth broke open a close game. Hawaii built a commanding 6-2 lead in the inning and saved the game after Kentucky rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth.
Devon Williams singled in one of Kentucky's two first-inning runs off left-hander Jeremy Crivello, but Hilo answered with three runs in the bottom half off Shane Crain, highlighted by Jaycen-Cann Ferreira's two-run single to right.
Sun staff writer Chris Bowen contributed to this article.