SPORTS

Utah Loses To Tennessee In Inaugural Game Of Little League World Series

Aug 19, 2022, 3:27 PM
Little - League - World - Series...
Austin Kryszczuk #21 the West Team from Las Vegas, Nevada bats against Team Japan during the first inning of th eLittle League World Series third place game at Lamade Stadium on August 24, 2014 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Snow Canyon baseball team representing Utah at the Little League World Series lost in its inaugural match of the tournament to Tennessee 11-2.

Utah will next play on Sunday, August 10 at 9 a.m. against the winner of the midwest and northwest region scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 20.

Struggles On The Mound For Utah

Cody Ruffell stepped onto the mound for the opening inning but only lasted just over an inning following four runs from Tennessee in the top of the first before walking the opening batter in the top of the second.

Linc Hafen took over midway through the second and on his first pitch conceded a fly ball to center field that one-hopped into the glove of Reggie Ence who was playing center field. Ence threw a perfect ball to third and was able to tag the Tennessee runner. However, the following batter was hit in the back. Shortly thereafter, Hafen threw a wild pitch allowing the runner to steal home. He bounced the following pitch where a Tennessee runner stole third.

Utah was struggling on the mound.

But Hafen was able to calm himself down, compose himself, and throw strikes to only concede two runs in the second inning. Utah was down 6-1 entering the bottom of the third.

After failing to find any runs in the bottom of the third, Utah made another move on the bound benching Hafen for Brex Whitney. The move to bring Whitney onto the mound gave Utah momentum as it only took Whitney eight pitches before Utah was out of the inning.

Batting Woes For Utah

But as Utah found form on the mound, they continued to struggle at the plate. In the bottom of the third Utah failed to find a hit and was quickly sent back out to field down 6-1.

Utah got things going in the bottom of the fourth when Reggie Ence was walked after being hit, the next batter Colton Gainey was walked and all of a sudden Utah had two on base with no outs. Kolby Lamoreux then hit a grounder to second where Utah conceded the first out. But immediately following, Lamoreux stole second and Ence stole home to cut the lead to four for Tennessee.

Tennesee found base runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the fifth before wild pitches advanced both runners to the home plate to increase the lead to 8-2.

Another pitching change brought Lamareux to the mound. But Utah conceded to leak hits and runs and entered the bottom of the fifth down 11-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, Bogan Oliverson, the younger brother of Easton Oliverson who remains in hospital recovering from brain surgery following a fall from a bunk bed on Monday morning, stepped up to the plate to a standing ovation but was unfortunately struck out. The ESPN broadcast showed a photo of Easton watching the game from his hospital bed as he continues to make progress in his long road to recovery.

The hitting woes continued and Utah failed to find the middle of the barrel. Unfortunately, Utah ended up losing to Tennessee 11-2.

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