Whatcom Americans pitcher Trent Miller threw three innings of shutout ball, and Kobe Sandstrom put on a power display, launching two home runs to help Whatcom earn a 10-0 win in four innings over Magnolia, Ark. during the opening game of pool play during the Cal Ripken World Series on Friday, Aug. 7, in Monticello, Ark.
Seven of Miller’s nine outs were strikeouts, and Aiden Roddel sealed the win by striking out the side in the fourth inning.
“Trent loaded the bases the first two innings, but he battled through that and got good strikeouts,” Americans coach Hank Schwarz said in a phone interview.
But it was Sandstrom who got the Americans rolling. He hit a towering home run Schwarz estimated went 300 feet in the first inning and later added a second, earning the game’s MVP honors.
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Ryan Pelton went 2 for 2 with two doubles and four RBI, and Greg Roberts contributed two hits during the win.
“Our bats have been our key the whole season,” Schwarz said. “Kobe is always making contact and just sat on a fastball and got all over it. As soon as he hit it, the dugout just went crazy. That got us going, and the other players fed off that.”
The win gives the Americans their first pool play victory, and the club will play two more games before advancing to the single-elimination portion of the tournament.
Whatcom faces Drew County, Ark. next at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8.
“Before our players took the field in the top of the first, I said, ‘Don’t be nervous. Have some fun. It’s just another ball game,” Schwarz said. “‘Let’s get out of this and go back to the hotel and swim the rest of the day,’ and that’s what they did.”
Drew County, Ark. vs. Whatcom Americans
When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8