By Kyle Koso
GYPSUM, CO – Sometimes, the ripple effects of a big victory keep washing over teams that know what to do with good fortune.
The Rangers Baseball club (Overland Park, KS) took down the No. 2 seed on Friday at the Triple Crown 13u World Series by a resounding 21-0 margin – not only did that boost everyone’s confidence, it meant pitcher James Forgy could save up his innings for later.
Called upon to take the mound Saturday, Forgy reeled off six terrific innings for the win as the Rangers (seeded 18th) stormed past No. 6 Legacy 42 (Pasadena, CA) by an 11-4 margin to advance to Sunday’s championship finale, needing two wins in the double-elim format to walk away with the title.
“You’ve just got to stay calm and throw strikes, and believe the defense will make some plays,” said Forgy, who rang up seven strikeouts and never let Legacy post more than one run in any inning. “We were about to save some pitching when we got the big lead Friday, and that allowed me to get in for this one.”
“He was outstanding. We really didn’t help him defensively at all, made three or four errors behind him, and he didn’t let it bother him,” said Rangers coach Chris Stewart. “He battled, worked out of some bases-loaded jams, and that was the difference. That game could have been 6-1 instead of 3-1 when we made the comeback.”
That comeback was fueled by two-out hits in the fifth inning, one a misplayed double that went for three runs, and another hit a floater down the right-field line to plate one more. But if the Rangers got fortunate there, they sealed the deal with great at-bats and solid hits in the final two innings, scoring six runs in those frames to take a solid lead.
“We weren’t swinging the bats well at the start of the game, and we had been swinging exceptionally well the last three or four games,” Stewart said. “We came out tight. We did get some balls to finally drop in, and they relaxed a bit.”
“We came out ready to play (in that Friday game), and we knew we were going to beat them,” said Luke Hanahan, who doubled and tripled, driving in four runs. “James did real well today, pumping gas, did an outstanding job when we needed it.”
Hunter Higgins drove in two important insurance runs in the sixth for the Rangers; Miles Buhrle and Zach Noonan also drove in two runs apiece.
For Legacy, Bobby Milton had two hits, two stolen bases and a run. Ethan Pride had two hits and a walk, scoring once and driving in a run. Legacy will try to fight through the loser’s half of the championship bracket.