Overcoming four tournament losses, the 9-under Arlington Storm Black managed to finish second in the Babe Ruth World Series.
The Storm lost in the ultimate title game of the baseball tournament in Jensen Beach, Fla., by a 7-3 score, to Florence, Ala. The meeting was the fourth between the teams in the competition.
About 90 minutes earlier that same day, Arlington had previously routed Florence, 11-1, to force a playback game between the two teams in the championship round.
Overall, the Storm finished with a 5-4 record in the Series, going 1-2 in pool play, then 4-2 in the playoff round. All six teams advanced to the playoff round following pool play, regardless of their records.
The Storm then got hot in the playoff round.
On the final day of action, Arlington played three games in a seven-hour stretch. Play fell behind in the Series because of daily rain delays. Overall, Arlington played nine games in six days.
The 9-under squad was the first from the Arlington Storm program to reach a World Series at any age level. The Storm qualified by winning district, state and region tournaments.
“It was a lot of baseball and we had a heck of a run,” Arlington Storm manager Jeff Groharing said. “We beat a lot of good teams, and we saw some really good pitching, offspeed stuff we hadn’t seen before. It took our batters a while to adjust and get going.”
In the final game, the Storm led 2-1 after one inning, then gave up three runs each in the third and fifth frames.
“There were a couple of plays we didn’t make that could have made the difference,” Groharing said.
Arlington had four hits and made two errors in the final. Miles Quinn had one hit and two RBI.
In the previous 11-1 win over Florence, Cole Howard had three hits and two stolen bases, and Quinn and Theo Henson had two hits each. Henry Juza, Nate Sadosky, Michael Groharing and Will Bruce each had one hit.
On the mound, Quinn and Cole Nindorf combined for a two-hitter.
To reach the championship round, the Storm rallied from a 5-2 second-inning deficit to defeat Marlboro, 9-5. John Anderson had a hit and two RBI for Arlington and Bruce tripled and had an RBI. Michael Groharing, Henson, Howard, Nindorf and Sam Pyser each had one hit. Henson and Quinn did the pitching, each with four strikeouts.
Arlington’s other playoff-round wins were over Auburndale, 3-0 and South Fort Myers, 7-2, with Gavin Vaughan having two hits and an RBI, Howard a hit and three RBI, and Quinn two hits and three RBI. Its other loss was against Florence, 6-2.
Sam Lillis and Nathan Donahue also contributed for the Storm.
Making the all-tournament team from Arlington were Quinn and Michael Groharing. Making the tournament’s all-defensive team were Quinn and catcher Pyser.
Team coaches for the Storm are Matt Bruce, Evan Howard and Manny Quinn.
Through the World Series, Arlington’s overall record is 34-10.