The Fighting Saints kept their hopes alive on becoming back-to-back National Champions, defeating Apprentice School 11-4 in the first title game.
Apprentice opened the scoring in the contest, pushing through three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Steve Hux started the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a passed ball. Mike Brumfield walked in the next at bat. Darius Harris hit a ground ball, but reached first on fielder's choice that put away Brumfield at second. Dalton Dye walked on four straight pitches by Nicholas Burch to load the bases. Ryan Cummings entered the game in relief, pitching first to Thomas Richardson, who flew a ball to first. Petar Rumora threw a low ball to catcher Colin McLeod, who was unable to handle the ball, allowing Dye to slide into home. The ball rolled to the screen, allowing both Harris and Hux to score as well, making Apprentice up 3-0.
The Saints would answer the Builders two innings later and hold them for the remainder of the contest. With one out, John Loschiavo reached first on an error by the Apprentice second baseman. Nick Rodriguez doubled to bring home the Saints' first run. Then, Jared Morello singled to center, scoring Rodriguez. The third run of the inning came as pinch hitter Brian Quezada reached on an error by the Builder's hird baseman to score Morello.
The Saints blew the game wide open in the top half of the sixth inning as Tommy Grant singled and advanced to second on a throwing error. Derek Edge hit an RBI single to left, advancing Jesus Salcedo. Loschiavo reached base again with a bunt single to load the bases, before Rodriguez would add his second hit of the day, knocking in two runs. Morello added two more RBIs on a sharp line drive single to center, making the score 8-3 for the Fight Saints.
CSJ added three more runs in the seventh inning on the backs of Nick Powers, McCleod, Loschiavo, and Rodriguez. Apprentice would add one more run in the ninth inning to make the final score 11-4.
Russ Krebs threw five innings, allowing only three hits and one run.
The Saints' win forces a second title game in the double elimination tournament, beginning at 6:10 p.m. The winner of that game will be crowned National Champions.
Update: Due to severe thunderstorms, the second title game has been postponed to Friday, May 19 at 10 a.m.