(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- The Charleston Bluejays saw Twin Rivers erase an early six-run deficit en rout to a 11-10 win in the first game of the 2011 Curveball's against Cancer Classic wood bat doubleheader on Friday.
"Seven unearned runs today," Charleston coach Michael Minner said. "They're a good ball club, but we gave them seven runs. We battled our tails off for every run we have got.
"That's just been the story of our season. We've got to learn to catch the baseball or else we're not going to be able to win baseball games."
Opening the game with back-to-back three-run innings, the Bluejays took a comfortable 6-1 lead into the fourth inning.
Using four hits and a walk in the inning, the Royals were able to cut the Bluejays lead down to two before coming back in the fifth with an additional two runs to go up 7-6.
Though Charleston was able to tie things back up in the bottom of the frame, Twin Rivers put a four-run rally together in the sixth as Wyatt Easterday starting the frame off hitting the ball past a diving left fielder for a triple.
Coming up empty handed and still down by four entering the bottom of the seventh, the Bluejays got a big hit from shortstop James Naile to close back to within one.
Down to their final out with runner on first and second, Naile hit a shot to center that eluded the center fielder.
After both runner had scored, Naile went for third base, forcing the cutoff man to make a throw that sailed out of the playing field, allowing Naile to go home on the error. The play closed the Bluejays back to within one at 11-10.
Unfortunately for Charleston, their cleanup hitter grounded out to the shortstop in the next at bat to end the game.
"We have a lot of fight," Minner said. "We didn't quit. We didn't give up and that's a tribute to our kids, but at the same time we shouldn't be in that situation.
"We should be going out there and closing the game out and we didn't do that."
With nine hits, the Bluejays were led by Naile who went 3 for 4 on the contest with a double and a triple. Ethan Browning and Marshall Stallings contributed two hits each.
For the Royals, Garret Stockton led an eight hit effort going 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles.
"Scoring 11 runs with a wood bat, you have to be pleased with that," Twin Rivers coach Denver Stuckey said. "Obviously spotting them a ten-run lead is not what you want to do. Unfortunately I guess we've been in that spot before.
"We've had to come from behind a lot because for whatever we don't answer the ball. Just to get a win on the road against a good team you have to be happy."
Twin Rivers 001 424 0 - 11
Charleston 330 010 3 - 10
WP -- Cole McBroom. LP -- Marshall Stallings. 2B -- (T) Garret Stockton 2; (C) Marshall Stallings, James Naile, Ethan Browning 2. 3B -- (T) Wyatt Easterday; (C) Naile.