The Wild Things came with a battle plan, and they made it tense the first several innings. Brandon Twigg started on the mound for Greenfield, but the first two South Hills batters laid down perfect bunts. With two on and no outs, the pressure was on, but Twigg pitched himself out of the jam.
The Wild Things also loaded the bases in the second inning, but Bryan McCann stopped a hot grounder and tossed the ball to third for the forced third out.
Meanwhile, the Greenfield bats came out hot. Jordan Osborne led off with a triple, and after two Greenfield batters were walked, Matt Mock and Brandon Twigg both singled, giving Greenfield a 2-0 lead. The Wild Things then turned a nice double play on Michael Twigg's hit to end the inning.
In the top of the third inning, Greenfield reciprocated on the double play, with McCann, running to his left, snagging a ground ball, stepping on second, and whizzing the ball to first to end the inning.
The bottom of the third inning saw another Greenfield back-to-back series: McCann sent a pitch way over the left field fence, nearly clearing the treeline behind, and then the next Greenfielder to the plate, Samson Hill, sent one over the right center fence.
McCann took the mound for the fourth and fifth innings, striking out most of the batters and protecting the lead, but, knowing how the Wild Things could hit the ball, the Greenfield offense knew it needed more. That "more" came in the 5th inning.
First, McCann hit another home run on almost the same trajectory. Mock reached first on a grounder to short, but the boys in green now had two outs on them. Unfazed, Brandon Twigg doubled, then Michael Twigg hit a hard line drive single that brought in two RBIs. Brady Sulinski then stepped up to the plate and sent a rocket over the center-field fence to clear the bases.
Going into the sixth, Greenfield held a commanding 9-0 lead. The top of the South Hills lineup was up to face Matt Mock, and they put together some good hits to erase the shutout, but the Greenfield defense was not in much of a giving mood, closing out the game with the final score of 9-2.
As one of the better teams in the tournament, the Wild Things were the odds-on favorite to face Greenfield in the championship game, but an overlap in tournaments forced them to pass up their 2 p.m. game at Elliott for a championship game in McKeesport.
Samson Hill took the mound for the home team, and his defense stepped up behind him in a big way. The first CIT batter hit a line drive right down the first-base line, but Matt Mock's glove vacuumed it in. The third batter hit the top of the ball, dropping it into no-man's-land almost like a bunt, but Hill jumped on it and threw the runner out at first.
The second inning defense was just as solid, with Brady Sulinski fielding two consecutive hard grounders and making the toss to second. The next CIT batter knocked a dangerous hit to left center, but, sprinting to his left, Ethan Heidel-Roberts nabbed it on the run before it could hit the ground.
On offense, Greenfield had trouble in the early going getting back around the diamond to the plate. The first inning was scoreless, and the second inning brought in only one, another Brandon Twigg homerun off the salt dome. Greenfield threatened to add more in the second on Michael Twigg's single and Luther Harper's double down the right field line, but nothing came of it.
Facing the bottom of CIT's linup in the third, Hill matter-of-factly struck out the side. He then started the action on offense, smacking a double over the center-fielder's head.
With Hill and Mock on base, Brandon Twigg singled to drive in one run, then Michael Twigg singled to bring in another, then Sulinski did the same.
With a 4-0 lead, McCann took the mound in the fourth, and he promptly struck out the side.
Back at work with the bats, Jordan Osborne walked, then trotted, as McCann sent both of them home with a home run over the centerfield fence. Hill, Mock, Brandon Twigg, and Brady Sulinski hit singles and Michael Twigg walked to put the pressure on the CIT defense, and then Luther Harper hit a grounder up the middle to bring in two more runs.
The CIT center fielder, Garrett, kept Greenfield runners honest with his throws from the outfield, and twice shot the ball in to home to both deny another Greenfield run and score a CIT out. His team MVP award was well-deserved.
In the fifth, CIT put some hits together to cut Greenfield's lead to 8-1, but McCann then put up three more K's to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Greenfield kept hitting the ball, with Osborne's long ball hitting the left center fence just a foot short of a home run. After a McCann fly ball moved Osborne over to third, Hill sent him home with a long ball that hit the fence a foot short on the right side. Mock then got to first on a grounder and Brandon Twigg doubled to get another run in, but CIT's center-fielder threw Mock out at home from the outfield.
McCann closed up shop in the top of the sixth with more strike-outs, and the game ended at 10-1, Greenfield.
The champions received Elliott championship T-shirts and hoodies, and Hill was named game MVP. Bryan McCann took tournament MVP honors.
The last tournament of the season for Greenfield will be in their backyards, at Hammer, July 22-29.