It was a simple situation for the CT Outlaws on Saturday night at Municipal Stadium's Bob Palmer Field during the Mickey Mantle World Series.
The Outlaws, a collection of 16-and-under players based out of Middletown, needed a win over the D-BAT Elite Gowins to stay alive in the World Series. The Outlaws trailed 2-1 entering the top of the fifth inning, then erupted for nine runs over the final two frames -- four in the fifth and five in the sixth -- for a 10-2 mercy rule victory.
The Outlaws need two wins tomorrow (Sunday) to take the World Series title, according to Joe Palladino of the Republican-American. The Outlaws face D-BAT in a 10 a.m. rematch at the Stadium. A win puts the Outlaws in the final against Knights Baseball of Nashville, Tenn., with the winner claiming the championship. Palladino reported on Twitter that the Knights won a draw to earn a bye to the final game. Each team has a loss in the double elimination tournament.
Four of locals had great nights for the Outlaws on Saturday. Leadoff batter Adrian Velez Jr. (Waterbury Career Academy) went 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs scored. No. 2 batter Adam Razza (Holy Cross High School) was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. In the No. 9 hole was Joel Guzman (Sacred Heart High School), who walked twice and scored twice. Both Velez Jr. and Guzman stole bases for the Outlaws.
Fran Phelan Jr. (Holy Cross) is also on the Outlaws roster.
In the pivotal fifth inning, Guzman, Velez Jr. and Razza helped start the Outlaw surge. Guzman and Velez Jr. had back-to-back walks, then Razza singled to load the bases. Guzman scored the tying run on a bases loaded walk to Justin Guerrera (Watertown). Another bases loaded walk, this one to John Nolan (Amity Regional) scored Velez Jr. for the go-ahead run. Razza came home on a RBI single by Bryson Cafaro (Ansonia) to make the score 4-2.
In the sixth, Guzman, Velez and Razza again started the rally. Guzman drew a one-out walk, then Velez singled to right field. Razza followed with a single to right field, and Guzman scored on an error by the right fielder. Velez Jr. scored on a hit by pitch to Nolan, then Razza came home on a wild pitch with Jacob Rowland (Kingswood-Oxford) batting.
Velez Jr. helped the Outlaws get on the board in the first inning. He led off with a walk, reached second on a sacrifice bunt by Razza. Velez advanced to third on a grounder by Guerrera, then scored on Nolan's RBI single.
The Outlaws will need to go the long route to win the World Series, but they are one of three teams left. Only two other teams can claim that, so the Outlaws have a shot.
Game information came from the GameChanger account of the CT Outlaws.