A Wake Up Call for Daniel Boone All-Stars
"It was tough because I'd throw it in there as hard as I could and they'd hit it right back at me most of the time. But I just focused on keeping the ball low and getting ground balls and I knew I had defense to back me up," said pitcher Landon Clapp.
The Columbia bats woke up and got help from the New Hampshire defense. They committed seven errors, three in the second led to three Columbia runs.
Columbia coach Echelmeier added, "Everybody took a big sigh of relief after we scored that first run. After seeing nine innings of zeros on that scoreboard at Lamade a couple days ago. I think the kids were putting too much pressure on themselves."
"It helps more for the rest of our guys because we could hit the ball after that. We were thinking too much when we got in there, 'What pitch is coming?' And we had to just stand up there and hit the ball," said Clapp.
Portsmith played wild, four wild pitches, one gave Columbia a 5-4 lead they'd never give up.
"It was just contagious. We kicked the ball around today. I certainly give their pitcher all the credit in the world. He did well, he kept us off balance," said New Hampshire coach, Mark McCauley.
"I never felt comfortable, seemed like people were running around the bases and hitting the ball all of the time," said Echelmeier.
The Daniel Boone All-Stars blew it open in the fourth, Beau Burkett with a simple RBI single up the middle, Portsmith turned it into an adventure. The throw to third went wild, Landon Clapp came into score so did Burkett, circling the bases in one at bat.
"And when we got a big lead, I just felt really loose and just had fun out there," said little leaguer, Will Echelmeier.
Columbia now faces an elimination game, win and go on to the U.S.A. semifinals or lose and their run at the Little League World Series is over. They get to put ace pitch Ryan Phillips back on the mound.
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