By Kenny Hetzler
H&R Photography scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat defending champion Windmill Grill 3-1 in a clash of UCT teams in the final of the Howard County youth baseball tournament for rookie league squads Thursday night at Northside. Button Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram is the rookie tourney’s sponsor.
With the scored tied 1-1 after a regulation six innings, H&R’s Trevor Crabtree started off the extra inning with a single. After one out, Ian Thurston singled to score Crabtree with the go-ahead run. Thurston then scored on a single by Tyler Flores.
H&R Photography coach Ted Crabtree expected a close game with the teams’ familiarity with each other.
“This is the third time that we played against them this year and our games are tight,” he said. “We have been real competitive with them in the last three years. So, we knew coming in that it was going to be a close ball game. It also feels great to let [the kids] have the trophy.”
Windmill coach Gary Bolen was glad the tournament came down to an all-UCT final.
“Both teams are very good friends,” he said. “Half of that team will end up being all-stars and half of this team will end up being all-stars, so they are pretty much teammates. It was a tough loss going in seven innings.”
H&R had a good start. Trevor Crabtree hit a single and later scored on a fielder’s choice to put H&R up 1-0 after one inning.
Windmill Grill got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning when Jacob Walker singled, then scored on a single by Logan Bolen to tie it at 1-1.
After the fourth inning, Windmill Grill managed only one more base runner, and that was in the fifth inning.
“We were playing good defense, but with their top of the order up [in the seventh inning] I wasn’t too confident, because I know what they can do,” Ted Crabtree said. “That is what it ended up being, a defensive game.”
Windmill Grill also limited H&R’s scoring opportunities with good defense.
“It was good defense on both sides,” Gary Bolen said. “Teddy Crabtree and their coaching staff and our coaching staff are very good friends. Last year, we got here and won it, and this year was a little different. The kids are taking it all right. They are baseball players.”
Trevor Crabtree, Ian Thurston, Tyler Flores and Ayden Groves each had two singles for H&R.
Logan Bolen led Windmill Grill with two singles.