by Kyle Koso
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. -- You can't just totally ignore the impact of a sobering loss in baseball, although not much is gained carrying it around like a mark of shame.
For the Building Champions-Navy 13u squad, Thursday meant getting in the right frame of mind at the Triple Crown World Series after Wednesday closed with a 15-run loss in pool play. On a roster packed with talent and hard-earned skill, a nasty setback like that didn't make much sense, and the Navy regained a sense of order next time out with a 15-4 victory against the Texas Fire at Strawberry Park.
The margin of victory didn't get comfortable until a nine-run outburst in the fifth inning, but BC Navy (MO) did plenty of good work ahead of that. Starting pitcher Davion Harris gave up just two runs in his four innings, working out of trouble nicely when necessary, and he got the scoring started with a difficult swing on a high fastball that launched the ball well over the centerfield fence.
Ronnie Ross Jr. drove in a run in the third to make it 4-0, and his lefty swing made perfectly violent contact with a pitch in the fifth, leading to a skyrocketing two-run homer that announced BC Navy was back on track.
"I had to come back from that last game. I grounded out a bunch of times and had a bad game," said Harris, who also drove in a run in the third inning. "I had to come out strong today. I wanted to just breathe and keep throwing strikes, because I know our defense will take care of it."
"I slept on it a long time, and I just came here today ready to eat," Ross said. "And I did. My first at-bat, they really didn't give me anything to hit, then they brought in another pitcher, and he messed up when he came inside. (Harris) did amazing; today gives us a lot of confidence, but hopefully we stay humble and come away with a 'W.'"
After BC Navy staked out a 6-0 lead, Texas Fire responded with a single by Brittain Urbaniak to lead off the fourth. He came in on a double from Fisher Polydoroff, who went to third on an error and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Lucas Moore.
BC Navy's big blows in the fifth were Ross' homer, a two-run double by Caleb Trulove and a bases-loaded double off the bat of Caden Campbell that finished the scoring.
"After yesterday, you're humbled by every experience, and you'll have losses. It's all about how you respond," said BC Navy coach Jamie Oakes. "We had a team dinner and got our mojo back, and I told them to compete on every pitch. And get emotions to a high octave and stay there the whole game. I've coached in this age group for 20 years, and that's arguably one of the best games I've seen a 13u team that I've coached play. They hit the ball, and anytime there was a momentum swing, they changed it back."
Caleb Martinez tripled in a run for the Fire in the bottom of the fifth, and he scored on an error.
The BC Navy finished just out of the mix for the Platinum bracket at 13u; they are the 11th seed and will begin Gold bracket play Friday at 11:30 a.m. The Fire ended up with the No. 18 seed.