|Oklahoma's Premier Summer Baseball Program||Saturday, February 06, 2016|
PUEBLO, Colo. - After their best run ever in the 24 years of the Tony Andenucio Classic, the Oklahoma Travelers saw their bid for just the second Pueblo tournament title in team history come up just short with an 11-3 loss to the Albuquerque Cubs in the championship game Sunday night.
Earlier in the day, the Travelers had little trouble in dispatching Las Vegas, 14-0, in one semifinal contest, for their sixth straight tournament victory, including five via run rule, which extended their winning streak to 13 before the finals loss.
All-tournament selections from the Travelers were Brett Case, Timmy Sullivan, Jordy Mercer and Reese Creswell. Max Simon also took home the tournament's Most Promising Pitcher Award.
In the championship contest the Travelers dug themselves too big an early hole as the hard-hitting Cubs exploded for four runs in the first and three more in the second.
Elk City's offensive meanwhile had difficulty against the Cubs' left-handed pitching combination before coming alive with a run in the third as Reese Creswell walked and eventually scored on a Cub error.
The Travelers pushed across two more runs in the fourth after opening singles by Brett Davis and Jordy Mercer but that just trimmed the deficit to 8-3 and was as close as Elk City would get.
Davis finished with two of the team's five hits in the game.
Things were a complete reversal in the semifinals, as Case needed only 59 pitches to complete the six-inning shutout on a four-hitter.
The Travelers scored early and often in the game, plating two runs in the first, four in the third, one in the fourth and finished it on the run rule with seven in the sixth.
Case was spectacular at the plate as well with a three for three effort, including a pair of RBI. Garrett Cook and Creswell chipped in two hits apiece as well with Creswell driving in three runs.
The Travelers closed out pool play in impressive fashion Saturday evening, posting a pair of run-rule victories over perennial powers Burkburnett and Cherry Creek, Colorado.
In the opener the Travelers exploded past Burkburnett's Blacksox, 16-6, making 10 runs in the first three innings stand up for the triumph.
Elk City took the lead on a Chance Gerloff RBI single in the second stanza and quickly pushed the margin to 4-0 when Brett Case blasted a three-run homer.
The Travelers plated six more tallies in the third frame, keyed by a two-run double off the bat of Case and Reese Creswell's two-run single to center.
Gerloff tacked on another run with a single to score Travis Long in the fourth before the Blacksox rallied to within 11-6 off starter Brad Burns in the bottom of the inning.
That brought in reliever Lance Scales, who silenced the Burkburnett bats over the final inning and a third.
The Travelers put it out of reach and into run-rule territory in the top of the fifth, stringing together six consecutive hits. Timmy Sullivan belted a run-scoring double in the outburst but the biggest blow came from a three-run home run by Kris Palesano.
Case finished with three hits to spark the offensive onslaught. Gerloff, Brett Davis and Jordy Mercer also contributed two hits apiece.
Elk City pretty much picked up right where it left off in the nightcap battle for the pool's top seed in the semifinals.
Cherry Creek had little answer for the Travelers' red-hot bats and the pitching of starter Chance Gerloff, who tossed a two-hit complete game.
The Travelers executed to perfection in the opening stanza, pushing across three runs, sparked by a Sullivan RBI double and Davis sacrifice fly.
After Cherry Creek trimmed the margin to 3-1 in the fourth, the Elk City bats erupted once again, pouring in six runs in the fifth to put it away early.
Case ignited the charge with a double and Creswell also contributed a massive grand slam homer over the centerfield wall. Case then finished the frame with a RBI single up the middle.
The Travelers finished with 13 hits in the five-inning contest, led by a three for three effort from Rebel Ridling. Case, Scales, Sullivan and Garrett Cook added two hits each.
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