Aug. 3—ST. MICHAEL — Two-out lightning struck again for New Orleans at the most opportune time during Tuesday's Pool A contest against Columbus at Forest Hills High School.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, a borderline call went the Boosters' way to give the 2019 AAABA Tournament champions a one-run lead. Three pitches later, designated hitter J.T. Singletary clobbered a grand slam over the left-field fence to highlight a six-run rally. New Orleans scored the game's final 11 runs to prevail 16-6 in eight innings due to the 10-run rule.
"It definitely shows our versatility in our lineup," said Singletary about his team scoring its first 11 runs all with two outs. "That's just how deep our lineup can go. We just don't quit. When we get two outs, we don't go down. We don't think the inning's over at all."
New Orleans is 2-0 in Pool A, while Columbus slipped to 1-1.
A full-count pitch to Brennan Lambert near the inside corner was called a ball as New Orleans led 7-6.
"We were ahead there for a while, and it was a really good ballgame back and forth, two really good ballclubs," Columbus manager Dan LePara said. "A call didn't go our way, even the umpire looked over and patted his chest and said, 'That's my fault.' That's a tough situation for that to happen, but their response was unbelievable."
He did a really good job of pitching above it. Then they took advantage of it with a huge home run. That's where it started getting out of hand. I'm really proud of our guys, because they kept playing and played the game right way a lot of a class and I'm really proud of them for that. They showed how you play this game the right way."
New Orleans trailed 6-5 in the fifth inning, but the Boosters tallied 11 unanswered runs to close out the game.
The Boosters drew two bases-loaded walks in the sixth before Singletary's blast soared over the left-field fence to lead 11-6. Singletary drove in five runs.
New Orleans' Josh Alexander collected two hits, including a three-run double in the third, and four RBIs. Brennan Lambert amassed two hits and three runs scored. Bryan Broussard scored three runs.
Taylor Helmke led Columbus with three hits. Joaquin Gutierrez, Drew Salinas and Sebastian Silva each contributed two hits.
LePara "We were ahead there for a while, and it was a really good ballgame back and forth, two really good ballclubs. We had the lead there for a little bit, then they came back. Joe Tootle came in relief, threw really well, did what we needed him to do. A call didn't go our way, even the umpire looked over and said it was his fault. He did a really good job of pitching above it. Then they took advantage of it with a huge home run. That's where it started getting out of hand. I'm really proud of our guys, because they kept playing and played the game right way a lot of a class and I'm really proud of them for that. They showed how you play this game the right way."
"He looked over and patted his chest and said, 'That's my fault.' That's a tough situation for that to happen, but their response was unbelievable. Their response all game was unbelievable. We got a shot tomorrow. We got three good arms slated for tomorrow and a really good lineup top to bottom with a lot of depth. We're looking forward to it."
"It's tough and you kind of go into a mindset of now the game's a spread game and it's a little out of control, there's no point to waste arms. You get a position guy in there who can throw strikes and you save arms and give ourselves a shot to win and get in tomorrow. With two outs, it's huge. They had a lot of good ABs with two outs and they took advantage."
Singletary "It was great. Against a great team like Columbus here, they came out swinging hot out the gate. DeSandro, he threw a good game for us, he battled. They battled. Fortunately, we were able to get a few men on, get some timely hits and timely walks. Fortunately, we came out with a win today."
"They had a mound visit right before my at-bat and I went back to the on-deck circle, talked to Alexander and he told me, 'Hey, see your pitch, one pitch only.' Fortunately, I got that pitch and it was a great moment right there."
"Fastball down and in."
"It definitely shows our versatility in our lineup. If I'm in the order, I can be on the top of anyone else's lineup. That's just how deep our lineup can go. We just don't quit. When we get two outs, we don't go down, we don't think the inning's over at all."
"We were kind of the opposite of what we were yesterday. We were very clean with everything yesterday. Today, we kicked it around a little bit. Give Columbus a lot of credit, they had some great at-bats. We made some quality pitches, I thought, that they were able to get a good piece of the barrel on. The thing I thought we did well was we didn't allow them to get too much separation. We kept it close and once we were able to take the lead, I felt the momentum came back on our side and our guys did a great job of picking each other up. Eleven runs with two outs. In our six-run inning against Martella's, five of those runs came with two outs. It's showing that we're staying tough, even with two outs, and we preach that to the guys. When you're down to your final out or even your final strike, just keep competing, keep fighting off pitches, keep working and eventually things may turn your way. Today, they did."
"Great boost. That's a big lefty. We started a right-hander. We saw their lineup, they had a good amount of lefties in there so we wanted to get it to the middle innings and turn it over to Toms. We were able to do that and get the lead. He just settled in from there, just threw strikes and let his defense play."