In the beautiful town of Branson, MO, teams from all over the world came to Ballparks of America for one reason. That reason is to play for and win the Cal Ripken Major 70 World Series. This was what was at stake for the Colorado State Champions and the Southeast Regional Champions as they competed in in the U.S. semi-final. The winner advances to play the Pacific Northwest Champions who competed in the other semi-final matchup and won in epic fashion with a game-winning grand slam.
Because of their flawless defense and dominating pitching, Southeast advances to the U.S. Final with a 7-2 victory over Colorado.
Southeast Manager, Larry Rollings, put the ball in Parker Sedgwick’s hand and let his defense do the rest. As he has been doing all World Series, Sedgwick pitch another outstanding game and shutdown the Colorado lineup.
The first two innings Sedgwick controlled the game as he retired the first six batters he faced and held Colorado to zero runs. In the top of third, Colorado was finally able to get their first baserunner on Sedgwick. William Mowers reached base safely with a sing, but the inning was quickly halted as Frank Willius grounded out into a double play.
Southeast scored early on some sloppy defense by Colorado. William Rollings scored the run of the game. Going into the bottom of the third, leading 1-0, Southeast got on the board again. Rollings led off the inning with a double to center field. Following, Malachi Witherspoon ripped a double down the left field line to give us the first run of the ballgame. Kyson Witherspoon gave us the second run of the game. K. Witherspoon was robbed of an extra-base hit on a remarkable catch by Colorado’s left fielder, Jaxon Riley-Combs, but a runner was able to score, furthering the lead to 2-0.
In the top bottom of the fourth, a scary moment occurred on the field. Willius wound up and threw a pitch that went high and wide left that hit the back-stop screen. Holding his left shoulder and dropping to his knees, Willius was in severe pain and exited the game. We send our prayers out to Willius and his family and hope everything is okay.
Leading in the game 2-0 in the top of the fifth, Sedgwick shutdown the Colorado lineup 1-2-3. Sedgwick dominated on the mound all night and earned himself player of the game. Through five innings of work, Sedgwick struck out four, walked two, and allowed one hit. Sedgwick also went 1-1 with a single, walk, and he was a hit by a pitch. When Southeast needed him most, Sedgwick was clutch and did not disappoint.
Southeast had a huge fifth inning and developed a commanding lead. Leading off the inning, Sedgwick was issued a walk and M. Witherspoon singled up in the middle. Dustin Petit pushed the lead to 4-0 by driving in Sedgwick on a poor defensive decision on Colorado’s behalf. Petit received his sign and took off for second. Taking his jump at third, M. Witherspoon received the command to break for home and he executed perfectly. Witherspoon stole home and the score was 5-0. Southeast scored its’ final two runs of the game on a two-run RBI single by Colin Rust. Going into the top of the sixth, Southeast had a commanding lead of 7-0.
In the closing inning, Sedgwick hit the lead-off batter and walked the next two while reaching his pitch limit. Holden Bradshaw came in to replace Sedgwick and close out the game. Bradshaw entered the game in a tough spot with the bases loaded and had trouble finding his location. He walked the first batter he faced which allowed the runner at third to score, narrowing the lead to 7-1. Colorado scored their final run of the game with a Mason Sukigara sac-fly. The game finished on a strike out with a score of 7-2.
Unfortunately, Colorado’s magical World Series run comes to an end one game shy of the promise land. Southeast is one step closer of turning a dream into a reality. Southeast moves on to the final to matchup with a very tough Pacific Northwest team. As they’ve done all World Series, Southeast will rely on pitching and defense to win the U.S. Championship. The Championship Game will be played Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM on St. Louis field and it has all the makings to be a great game.