By Kyle Koso
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – Turns out, when all the coaches and parents and boring old people talk about never giving up, they might actually be onto something.
After falling behind 10-0 on Friday in 14u action at the 2023 SlumpBuster, the Oklahoma Rage put up an entry in the miracle comeback category, registering nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to notch a 11-10 victory over the Waco Warriors. The Rage will play in the 14u D2 championship bracket as the No. 27 seed and face the 406 Flyers on Saturday morning.
A shower of errors and stolen bases surrendered to the benefit of the Warriors in the first inning had the Rage down, 7-0, and it was a double-digit debacle until the bottom of the fourth when four walks and a hit batter got the Rage on the board, trailing 10-2. In the end, the Warriors could not get their relief pitching to settle in, as the Rage used five walks, two hit batters, two sacrifice flies and two wild pitches to bring in the nine runs in that last frame.
The game-winner came off the bat of Miles Dickinson, a single, his second hit of the day to go with two RBI.
“I knew I had to get up there and do my job,” Dickinson said. “I was just trying to find barrel with ball. I knew we had to come back and battle.”
“You have to trust the team and know we can get the bats rolling at the end,” said Daelon Rice, who walked three times and singled, scoring three runs. “This helps us for tomorrow in the bracket, to give us some confidence and win this thing.”
“The thing I’m really focused on is that we fight to the end. These kids know baseball, but it’s the skills that’ll take them further in life as far as not giving up,” said Rage coach Chad VonTungeln. “Fighting together is the key – the guy who had the game-winning hit also had three errors. He came back, got it done, that’s baseball. We’re in a good spot with our pitching, we’re well-stocked and ready to go.”
For the Warriors, Jimmy White scored twice and drove in a run, and Colton Omo had two hits and two RBI.