The team from Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores Little League out of Grosse Pointe, Michigan suffered their second loss in the LLWS to Peachtree City, Georgia 4-3 Wednesday afternoon to knock Michigan out of the tournament. Michigan just didn’t have anymore 5th and 6th inning magic left.
EARLY INNING STRUGGLES
After the rainout and extra day off, Michigan had the choice of starting one of their top guns in Brennan Hill for the U.S. Semifinal game, not many teams wouldn’t throw their #2 pitcher if given a chance.
But the pitching struggles for Hill continued Thursday afternoon as his curveball was great but he couldn’t get a feel for his fastball. The southpaw was plagued with hit batters, walks, and perfectly placed bloopers the whole tournament that kept him from throwing more than four innings in three different appearances. In the first inning Jack Ryan singled into left field to give Georgia a 2-0 lead, and during the second inning Hill hit a batter with the bases loaded, and then a fielders choice scored the game-winning run for Georgia which was also charged against Hill.
Reggie Sharp came onto the mound in relief for Michigan and pitched four innings without allowing an earned run.
Cameron Schafer started it in the top of the second with two outs for Michigan with an infield single, which set up Oliver Service who hit a two-run homer (on his 13th birthday) on an 0-2 count which was out of the stadium in less than three seconds.
In the third inning, Jarren Purify had a great at-bat (11 pitches), worked a full count and then blasted a ball over the second fence in left-center field. Purify has been one of the most entertaining players on this year’s LLWS team, and as he rounded third base, his coach uttered the words, “Best at-bat of the year.” According to teammates Purify dented the bat on the homer.
Purify put the team on his back throughout the summer tournament batting (9-10) in the LLWS Regionals, and in the LLWS he batted (7-13). It’d be a good idea to keep tabs on this kid in the future as he is truly a five-tool ballplayer that could turn out to be something special.