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Red Sox roll past Yankees to reach city semifinals

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Garren Mefford of the Red Sox is about to fire the ball toward the plate against a Yankees batter during Monday night’s opening round of the Major League City Tournament. Mefford left the game with a 7-0 lead and drove in the final run of the contest in the Red Sox 11-1 win over the Yankees in five innings.
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Mason Miller of the Yankees (on the mound) gets ready to hurl a pitch to a Red Sox batter as Yankee first baseman Isaac Middleton watches the action at home plate during Monday night’s opening round game of the Major League City Tournament. Miller did yeoman’s work on the mound, throwing 85 pitches in four innings. The Yankees lost to the Red Sox 11-1 in five innings.
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Gannon Harris of the Red Sox stands on second base after doubling to left field in the second inning of Monday night’s opening round of the Major League City Tournament. Harris scored two runs in the 11-1 victory in five innings for the Red Sox over the Yankees.
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Austin Nunez of the Red Sox stands at second base after belting another two-RBI single against the Yankees during Monday night’s opening round of the Major League City Tournament. Nunez had four RBI and scored once in the Red Sox 11-1 win over the Yankees in five innings.
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Arrin Murray (8) of the Yankees stands on third base as he and Red Sox third baseman Braxton Miller (35) watch the action at home plate during the top of the first inning of Monday night’s opening round of the Major League City Tournament. The Yankees had two runners in scoring position with one out in the frame, but didn’t score and went on to lose to the Red Sox 11-1 in five innings.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

In a tournament, one usually expects a close game between teams that are seeded No. 4 and No. 5.

That didn’t quite happen in Monday night’s opening round of the New Castle Major League City Tournament, as the No. 4 Lamberson & Malott Red Sox tangled with the No. 5 NCF and AM #91 Yankees for the right to advance to today’s semifinals of the tournament.

The Red Sox rolled past the error-prone Yankees 11-1 in five innings on the Little League upper diamond and now face the No. 1 seeded Elks Lodge White Sox this evening for the right to play in Saturday’s championship game. The No. 2 Cubs play the No. 3 Reds in tonight’s other semifinal.

“Scoring five runs in the first inning really helps,” Rex Sox Manager Brad Dorn said after the game. “We hit the ball when we had to, took advantage of what they gave us, and had good pitching and defense. Those are the things that help you win ballgames.”

The Yankees batted first against Red Sox starting pitcher Garren Mefford and threatened to score in the top of the first inning, but didn’t.

Arrin Murray led off with an infield hit and advanced to second base on a walk to next batter Jhonny Howe. Both runners moved into scoring position on Mason Miller’s 4-3 groundout.

But Mefford induced the next batter to pop-up for the second out, and fanned the batter after that on a called third strike, and the Yankees stranded the two baserunners.

Miller started on the mound for the Yankees. Vincent Farris of the Red Sox led off the bottom of the first with a single to left field on the first pitch and Mefford walked on five pitches. A fly ball to the outfield by Gannon Harris was dropped for an error, Farris scored, Mefford took third, and Harris hustled into second base.

Austin Nunez stepped to the plate and singled to right field to drive in Mefford and Harris for a 3-0 Red Sox advantage, and Nunez took second base on the throw-in.

Braxton Miller walked, and Landon Martin’s single to centerfield plated Nunez with Miller also scoring on the play for a 5-0 lead and Martin reaching second base.

There still was nobody out, and Martin advanced to third on a stolen base. But Miller bore down, fanned the next two batters, and got the one after that to line out to the second baseman to retire the side.

Mefford retired the Yankees 1-2-3 in the top of the second inning.

The Red Sox added to their advantage in the last of the second inning. With one out, Mefford reached base on an infield hit, took third on a double to left field by Harris, and both Mefford and Harris scored on a single to centerfield by Nunez for a 7-0 Red Sox lead.

The next batter fanned, but Martin reached base on an error and Nunez took second base. Nunez was tagged trying to steal third for the final out of the inning.

Mefford walked Cory Daffron leading off the top of the third inning and Kalub Heltzel came in to pitch for the Red Sox. Heltzel retired the side on a fielder’s-choice grounder, a groundout, and a liner to the shortstop.

The Red Sox added three more runs in their half of the third inning. Leading off, Heltzel advanced all the way to third base on two throwing errors and scored on Brodey Brown’s single to left field. Brown made it all the way to third on another throwing error.

Bryce Youngquist walked on four pitches, and he and Brown scored after two more errors on Farris’ batted ball for a 10-0 Red Sox lead.

Farris was forced out at second base on Mefford’s fielder’s-choice grounder for the first out of the inning. The next two batters popped out and struck out to end the inning.

The Yankees manufactured their only run of the game in the top of the fourth inning. Isaac Middleton led off with a single to centerfield and advanced to second base on Maddox Lovell’s single to right.

Both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. After the next batter popped out to the third baseman, Isaac Middleton scored on Alex Middleton’s 4-3 groundout to pull the Yankees to within 10-1.

Lovell took third on the groundout and Carter Howe walked on five pitches, putting runners on the corners with two away. But Heltzel fanned the next batter swinging after three pitches to retire the side, stranding the baserunners.

Martin singled with one out in the last of the fourth and took second on the throw-in. But Miller retired the other three batters, and the Red Sox didn’t score.

Heltzel struck out the first two Yankees he faced in the top of the fifth inning and left the mound after throwing 35 total pitches. Harris came in to pitch for the Red Sox.

Harris walked Miller on five pitches, and Miller stole second base. But Harris whiffed the next batter to end the inning.

Miller had thrown 85 pitches through four innings, and Jhonny Howe came in to pitch for the Yankees in the bottom of the fifth. Leading off, Youngquist reached base on an error but was forced out at second on a fielder’s-choice grounder off the bat of Farris.

Farris took second base on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on a single to centerfield by Mefford for an 11-1 lead, which ended the game after 1:36 of playing time had elapsed.

“It’ll be a challenge to beat the White Sox,” Dorn added. “But we limited our guys’ pitches tonight, so we should be in pretty good shape to play them Wednesday. We just have to beat them once.”