Lynners fall to Charleston in World Series pitcher’s duel

Devin Curley allowed two earned runs in six innings Tuesday evening. (Item File Photo)

Tuesday evening’s Babe Ruth World Series game between the Lynn 16-18-year-old All-Stars and Charleston (MO) was a pitcher’s duel. Lynn’s Devin Curley turned in a valiant effort with four strikeouts and two earned runs in his six innings of work. But Charleston’s Kasten Campbell tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings, enough to pace his team to a 2-1 win over the Lynners at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park in Jamestown, N.Y.

Campbell limited the Lynners to just four hits and tallied three strikeouts. Will Pratt (1 1/3 innings, one earned run, two hits) and Cole Nichols (1/3 inning) finished the win in relief.

Curley allowed one run in the top halves of the third and sixth innings. Nick Reiser followed in relief and pitched a scoreless top of the seventh.

“Devin pitched his heart out,” Lynn coach Al Donovan said. “Nick shut things down in the seventh and gave us an opportunity to win the game.”

Defense also played a role in Tuesday’s outcome, with both teams treating fans in attendance to a number of highlight reel plays throughout the evening.

“It was a great baseball game,” Donovan said. “Their shortstop probably took three hits away from us. He was outstanding. That was probably the difference of the game. They had 10 hits but about five of those were bloopers just over our shortstop or second baseman’s heads. We hit the ball hard and made some plays.”

Lynn formed the first threat to score in the bottom of the first inning. Jomar Moreta (2-for-3) attempted to score from second base on a base hit to centerfield, but was thrown out by Charleston centerfielder Cole Nichols.

“Jomar Moreta was on second base and their centerfielder made an outstanding throw on that play,” Donovan said. “That’s how that game went both ways. We made great plays.”

The Lynners returned the favor in the top of the second, when outfielder Colin Reddy made a similar play. Charleston’s Ronin Rice attempted to go from first base to third on a base hit but Reddy made a perfect throw to Lynn third baseman Dayshon Anderson, who applied the tag for the out.

“We played great defense, we had great pitching,” Donovan said. “We could’ve had a little bit better timely hitting but that’s the way the game goes sometimes. We’re not allowing many runs, we just have to score a few more runs.”

Charleston, the Midwest Plains representative, broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third when Nichols crossed home plate on a RBI single from Drew Reischman’s bat. Charleston bumped its lead to 2-0 in the top of the sixth when Pratt scored on a RBI single from Dallon Stotts.

Down 2-0, Lynn made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh. Anthony Nikolakakis (1-for-2) drew a walk and scored on a RBI single laced by Brett Bucklin (1-for-3, RBI). Lynn’s late rally fell short, however, as Charleston held on for the 2-1 win.

Lynn closed the pool play stage of the tournament at 1-3. The Lynners need Fairfax (VA) and Jamestown (N.Y.) to each lose outright in order to have a chance at advancing to the next round. If each team finishes pool play at 1-3, the tiebreaker will be determined by runs allowed.

Fairfax and Jamestown both play Wednesday. Fairfax plays Charleston (5) and Jamestown takes on Bakersfield (7:30).

Donovan said Lynn will take a rest day Wednesday to recuperate after a busy week.

“It’s going to be a complete off day,” Donovan said. “These guys have been going for four days straight. These guys need a day to decompress. We’ll see what happens in tomorrow’s games and hopefully we’ll be playing Thursday.”

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