Tyler Lee Captures Wild, Extra-Inning Win Over Atlanta to Conclude First Day of Rose City Classic
TYLER -- It may not have been how coach David Howard would have drawn it up, but the Tyler Lee Red Raiders opened their season and concluded Day 1 action at the Rose City Classic in exciting fashion.
Lee rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh and scored the game-winner on a two-out, dropped third strike in the eighth to earn a 7-6 win over Atlanta on Thursday night at Mike Carter Field.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth -- when one more out would have resulted in a tie dictated by tournament rules -- Lee's Isaiah Yates crossed home plate after a swing-and-miss strike three got away from Atlanta catcher Reagan Aslin.
The wild finish seemed improbable after the Red Raiders trailed 6-2 with one out in the bottom of the seventh. But Ben Romines' sacrifice fly to left field scored Chandler Hill for the tying run, putting a cap on Lee's four-run frame.
Atlanta put the tying run on third with two outs in the top of the eighth, but Clayton Hodges (1-0) -- Lee's fourth pitcher of the night -- struck out Matt Rinehart to end the inning and set the stage for the Red Raiders' eighth-inning magic.
Parker Bates began with an infield single in the hole at shortstop and was moved to second on a sac bunt by Hodges. Atlanta's Chase Musgrove then hit Yates with a pitch and intentionally walked Tyler Jones to load the bases and set up a force out at any base. Garrett Hudson followed by hitting into a fielder's choice, which resulted in an out at home.
In stepped in Hill, who swung at Musgrove's 2-2 offering in the dirt, which prompted Yates' game-winning dash toward home.
Romines and Hill each drove in two runs on the night for the Red Raiders. Bates went 2-for-4 with a double, run and stolen base, while Hudson was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Yates reached base three times out of the No. 9 spot in the order -- twice being hit by a pitch, while collecting a single and scoring twice.
Hodges allowed one hit and struck out two in his 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Starting pitcher Henry Smith allowed two unearned runs on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. Jacob Kuehn and Jakob Romines combined on two innings of relief, allowing four runs -- one earned -- on two hits with three strikeouts and four walks.
Tyler Lee made three errors on the night, which led to five unearned Atlanta runs.
Clayton Hancock led the Rabbits at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Rinehart had a hit and scored twice in three official at-bats, Musgrove was 1-for-3 with an RBI, run and two steals and Logan Vise walked all four times he came to the plate and scored two runs.
Hancock, Atlanta's starting pitcher, allowed two runs on two hits with five strikeouts and two walks in five innings. But the Rabbits' bullpen tandem of Sage Massingil and Musgrove surrendered five runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings of work.
It was a rough ending for Atlanta, which scored six consecutive runs after falling behind 2-0 through two innings. The Rabbits scored one in the third and two in the fifth before opening up a 6-2 lead with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Lee began its comeback with a one-out single by Yates, which was followed by Jones and Hudson both reaching on consecutive hit-by-pitches. Hill then smacked a two-run single to center and Ryan Rendon followed by legging out an infield hit, which brought home Hudson to cut the deficit to 6-5.
Ben Romines' sacrifice fly tied the game, but courtesy runner Brian Eng was stranded at third when Musgrove retired Nick Goodwin on strikes to force the extra inning.
Tyler Lee plays twice Friday at the Rose City Classic -- 2:30 p.m. against Lufkin Hudson and 7 p.m. vs. Lufkin. Atlanta, meanwhile, resumes tournament play Saturday at 12:15 p.m. against Hudson.
Tyler Lee 7, Atlanta 6 (8 innings)
2014 Rose City Classic
At Mike Carter Field, Tyler
Atlanta 001 020 30 -- 6 7 0
Tyler Lee 110 000 41 -- 7 8 3
Pitchers and Catchers
- Atlanta: Clayton Hancock, Sage Massingil (6), Chase Musgrove (7) and Reagan Aslin.
- Tyler Lee: Henry Smith, Jacob Kuehn (5), Jakob Romines (7), Clayton Hodges (7) and Tyler Jones.
LP -- Musgrove.
- Atlanta: Jase Flowers.
- Tyler Lee: Parker Bates.