KREBS — The Mudhens needed a win in the consolation finals Saturday just to make the championship.
Whatever added tax that extra game put on the Mudhens’ bullpen, it didn’t stop them from beating the Thunder and putting themselves one win away from a Pittsburg County Little League championship.
The Mudhens scored the go-ahead run the top of the sixth inning, then reliever Trevor Chancellor struck out Micah Strzelecki with the tying run on second to give the Mudhens a 7-6 win against the Thunder in Saturday’s AAA championship at Deerinwater Field in Krebs.
Updated Sunday afternoon: The win forced a second championship game Sunday, which the Thunder won 9-7 to take the AAA title.
While Connor Clayton had already given the Thunder two innings of scoreless relief, he walked Chancellor with one out in the top of the sixth. Chancellor went to second on a passed ball, then took third on Chance Lott’s sacrifice groundout back to the pitcher’s mound.
Jaxon Wills then dropped a dribbler halfway between home plate and the mound. Clayton fielded it and tried to throw Chancellor out at home, but Chancellor beat the throw to give the Mudhens a 7-6 lead.
Clayton struck out Cooper Johnson to end the top of the sixth, but in the bottom of the sixth Chancellor struck out both Travis Johns and Wyatt Shearwood to quickly put the Mudhens one out away from victory. Clayton beat out an infield single for his second hit of the day and then stole second, but Chancellor struck out Strzelecki to end the game.
“We hit the ball,” Mudhens coach Keith Barnes said following Saturday’s game.
“We just hit the ball when we needed to tonight.”
The Thunder jumped out early in the game, with Clayton leading off the bottom of the first with a single and Strzelecki driving him in with another single. Strzelecki later scored on a passed ball, then Grady Kitchens drew a walk.