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Monday
November 18th, 2019

rattlersBy EARL WATT

Leader & Times

Rattler 9s avenge earlier loss with 11-2 win over Miami

The Liberal Rattler 9s lost to Miami 8-0 in their first game at the Cal Ripken World Series, but they avenged that loss by beating Miami 11-2 in the Ironman Bracket.

“We needed that,” Liberal coach Brad Morris said. 

The biggest difference from the first game to the fourth game was confidence, according to Morris.

“The first two games here, we were nervous,” he said. “We had the World Series jitters. We could have played Miami a lot better that first game, but we came in confident this time. The bats showed up, we put up two in the first, and it rolled from there. They played great baseball today, top to bottom.”

Ethan Olmstead had a key double in the first inning to go along with singles from McKye Morris and Alex Gomez to give the Rattlers a 2-0 lead.

Morris, Olmstead and Aranda continued to produce in the second inning along with Hayes Saucedo, and the Rattlers pushed five more runs across the plate for a 7-0 lead.

Liberal added three more in the third to take a 10-0 lead before Miami scored a run in the fourth and both teams scored runs in the fifth for an 11-2 Rattler lead.

The Rattlers held Miami scoreless in the fifth to earn the 11-2 win.

“Kale Miller pitched a wale of a game,” Morris said. 

Miller threw three shutout innings with one walk and only two hits. 

“That was a big part of the win,” Morris said. 

Alex Gomez pitched two innings and preserved the win.

After successful runs through the summer to earn state and regional titles, the slow start at the World Series set the 9-year-olds back.

“They questioned whether we should be here,” Morris said. “And they are good enough to be here. They see some kids a little bigger, some Florida teams play all year long, and that shows up on the field.”

And momentum evaded the Rattlers until they finally had some early success in the rematch with Miami.

“They showed up ready to go,” Morris said. “We as coaches were concerned because we were playing the same team we lost to 8-0, but they showed up and attitudes were great. We hit the ball well.”

Now with the jitters gone, the Rattlers are enjoying baseball at the highest level, and the once-in-a-lifetime experience isn’t lost on Morris.

“They are making memories every second,” he said. “These young men are experiencing a chance of a lifetime. We hope it continues, but if it doesn’t, they will remember this for the rest of their lives.”

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