Picture-perfect weather was the scene at South Lakes High School on Monday, as FCA Power JV captured the Columbus Day Tournament crown by a score of 8-2 over the PHR Expos JV.
Jacob Luu got things started in the top of the first for the Expos, leading off with a single and later scoring thanks to a Drew Norton RBI knock.
Location struggles found Expos starter Will Shean early in the bottom half, surrendering back-to-back singles to Matthew Courchaine and Aaron Babu. An errant pickoff attempt enabled Courchaine to score and Babu to advance to third before RBI base hits from Tyler Smith and Gavin Barker would push the FCA lead to 4-1.
“I felt really good, I saw the ball well,” stated Barker, who also took note of his team’s intensity that was on display for all seven innings. “Our pitching did a great job today and we stayed in it the whole game and didn’t let our energy come down at all.
Limited offensive action from both teams in the subsequent innings would give way to a slight threat in the top of the fifth when PHR’s Chris Morabito would reach on a single and later advance to second on a fielder’s choice. However, a shifty pickoff move from FCA’s Darren Osborne eliminated a potential scoring chance for the Expos, and maintained the three-run spread.
FCA would heat back up in the bottom half of the fifth, as a RBI double for Matthew Courchaine and RBI single for Aaron Babu gave the Power a 6-1 advantage.
John Henry Ruhl, who managed to reach in that frame, had a two-hit day and helped spark the Power offense all afternoon.
“I felt pretty good at the plate, I was timing it pretty well,” Ruhl said. “I also just focused on getting a good pitch to hit.”
The next inning would see more offense for the Power, as Darren Osborne and Tyler Smith would score following Cal Wyman’s 2-RBI single, making it 8-1.
The Expos managed to capitalize on a throwing error in the top of the seventh to make it 8-2, but the deficit would prove to be too much as FCA’s Osborne closed out the game and closed the book on his stellar three-inning relief performance.
“The Expos were an excellent opponent,” Power coach Mark Adams said. “As far as our team goes, we didn’t have a lot of errors, we kept those to a minimum, and our pitchers threw strikes. We stress throwing strikes and making teams beat you. We turned double plays, hit cutoffs and threw people out so it was all around a great team effort.”
The Expos will play next against the MVP Terps Elite on Tuesday at James Madison High School, and the Power will take on the MVP Royals at Sully Field on Wednesday.