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Myers escapes jam, Oakland eliminates National

July 13, 2006|by TYLER KAHL / Staff Correspondent

Oakland's Cody Myers made his 11-12 All-Star pitching debut at National Little League on Wednesday, and it couldn't have come at a better time for manager Jason Shreve.

Myers worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth inning to save a 5-4 victory for Oakland over National in a District 1 Tournament losers' bracket quarterfinal.

Myers entered the game in the sixth with no outs, the bases loaded and Oakland's 5-2 lead very much in jeopardy. Myers got off to a shaky start by walking Jordan Dickens to plate pinch runner Scott Bennett, cutting the lead to 5-3. He recovered by inducing a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Sean Przywieczerski, though Aaron Roby scored to make it 5-4.

Finally, Myers sealed the game by causing Dylan Appel to pop out with the game-tying run on third.

"We're very low on pitching," said Schreve. "It was just a gut feeling I had and I went with it."

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With the game tied 2-2, Oakland took the lead in the fifth, scoring three runs to chase National starter Roby. After Zach Knotts' RBI single gave Oakland a 3-2 lead, Ryan Bennett hit his fourth home run of the tournament to drive in the game-winning run.

"(Roby) was out of gas. He pitched a full game Saturday and his velocity and location started to go," said National manager Scott Appel. "We wanted to keep it high and tight to (Bennett) but he got a fastball out over the plate and he hit it a mile."

Despite control problems, Roby worked his way out of numerous jams early in the game, stranding four National runners on base. Before the disastrous fifth, Roby only surrendered two runs, both scoring on a second-inning Mikey Skipper single.

National failed to give Roby significant support, squandering opportunities with runners in scoring position in every inning except for the first.

"The game wasn't decided in the sixth inning," said Appel. "It was decided every inning before that when we didn't capitalize. We lost on missed opportunities. I give (Oakland) credit. They were hungrier."

Oakland will host Maugansville - which Oakland defeated 11-5 in the first round - in today's losers' bracket semifinals at 6 p.m.

"We'll definitely be confident going in," said Shreve. "We beat them before so we won't need to change the strategy."

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