Blogs > The Best of Don Seeley's Columns

Former Mercury sports editor Don Seeley passed away in June 2013 from a heart attack. For more than a decade Seeley wrote about local sports. Featured here are his columns that were previously printed in The Mercury.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Highlights and lowlights from national regional play

Either the pitching and defense is that good or the offense isn’t all that good.

Take your pick, but up at the Northeast Regional at Old Orchard Beach in Maine, no team has yet managed to put double figures in the scoring column. Only 86 runs had been put up on the board through 10 games, or going into Game 11 on Saturday night. With a little elementary math, like addition and division, that equals a total of just 8.6 runs a game.

It’s no surprise Bedford is the lone unbeaten now, too. Bedford’s Lucas Olen allowed four hits and one run in the first round; Joe Maher threw a one-hit shutout in the second round; and Tom Hudon and Spencer Damon combined on a six-hitter in a 4-2 winners’ bracket fional win over Norwalk on Saturday night.

It’s a completely different story down at the Mid-South Regional in Minden, La., where one has wonder if the pitching and defense is that awful or the offense is way, way beyond the norm.

Take your pick, because in Thursday’s opening round, the four games produced a total of 94 runs (an average of 23.5 runs a game), all that despite a 7-5 thriller that saw Gonzales (La.) edge Emporia (Kans.). And in Friday’s second round, the four games produced a total of 89 runs (a paltry, just kidding, 22.3 runs a game). Things calmed down a bit Saturday, with just 28 runs in the two games prior to the winners’ bracket final featuring Columbia (Tenn.) and Tupelo (Miss.).

The Mid-South Regional’s eight teams – in the first round alone now – combined for 107 basehits (including 15 doubles and 15 home runs), 54 walks and 19 errors. The overall earned run average that first day? An embarrassing 10.88.

The game a lot of those Louisana fans were talking about was Thursday’s nightcap, when host Minden held off the Ada Braves (Okla.), 26-16. Minden drew 12 walks, had 22 hits and scored at least two runs in every inning before it ended after seven due to the 10-run rule.

Minden’s leadoff batter, Kirby Moore, was 3-for-3 with four walks, four stolen bases and seven runs scored. Teammates Bob Parker, Reco Mitchell and Preston Gray, the third through fourth hitters in the lineup, were a combined 10-for-14 with 16 RBI.

Ever hear how good pitching beats good hitting? Those same Minden folk have now. In the second round, Tupelo put a 20-5 pounding on their hometown team.

The boys are swinging the bats out at the Western Regional in Fairfield, Calif., too.

At least League City (Tex.) and Las Vegas (Nev.) are, that is.

Thursday, League City ran all over Taylorsville (Utah), 22-2, then on Friday put up 20 more runs against Las Vegas, but – you guessed it – lost 23-20 to the Nevada state champions. The Texas state champions came back Saturday to stay alive, though, putting up a dozen runs to double up Chico (Calif.).

But back to that 22-20 affair…

League City led 4-3 after an inning of play, but fell way behind when Las Vegas put up 10 in the second and five more in the sixth. Hold on, because League City came back with an eight-spot in the seventh and three more in the eight to close within 21-19 before Las Vegas spoiled the comeback with two runs in the top of the ninth. T.J. White was 6-for-7 – three singles, two doubles and a home run – with six runs scored and five RBI for Las Vegas, which won despite seven errors.


If there was a pitchers’ dual – or combined gem – it came in the opening round of the Western Regional that saw Fort Collins (Colo.) edge Chico (Calif.), 1-0, in 10 innings. Fort Collins’ Jess Amedee threw all 10 innings, allowing just two hits while walking six and fanning 14. Chico’s hard-luck loser Luke Barker went 9-1/3, scattering six hits while walking just one, striking out 10 and allowing that unearned run. … The 10-inning affair took just two hours and 10 minutes to play.

Eden Prairie (Minn.), a two-time American Legion World Series runner-up (2004 and again last year), apparently has some pitching back, too. Adam Brey threw a two-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts in round one’s 6-0 win over Grand Island (Neb.), and teammate Tyler Ruemmele allowed just six hits and a walk while fanning seven in round two’s 12-2 rout of Mandan (N.D.). … Eden Prairie played Carroll (Iowa) in the winners’ bracket final Saturday night. Carroll surprised Omaha (Neb.) on Friday, scoring twice in the ninth to tie it at 4-4 and adding a run in the 10th to win it.


At the Northwest Regional in Billings, Mont., the host Billings Royals were playing their crosstown rival Billings Scarlets in Game 9 late Saturday – a meeting pushed back because of heavy rains Friday night. The two teams finished one-two in the Montana state tournament last week. … The Royals bounced back from a 10-inning, 8-3 opening-round loss to Salem (Ore.) by outlasting Cheyenne (Wyo.), 19-13, in the second round. The Scarlets won their opener over Boise (Idaho), 3-1, on Max Tolstedt’s three-run homer in the sixth inning, but fell to Waipahu (Hawaii) in the second round.


The regionals’ eight hosts went 4-4 the first day and 4-4 the second day, but only those from the Great Lakes (Midland, Mich.) and Western (Fairfield, Calif.) regionals went 2-0 to get into their respective winners’ bracket finals Saturday night.

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