By John R. Schirmer
For the seventh time in 10 years, the Nashville Scrappers are the champions of the Ralph Gross Memorial Tournament.
The Scrappers won the 2014 championship Saturday night with a 7-6 victory over Redwater, Texas, at Wilson Park.
Nick Myers, a Scrapper junior, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Other awards for Nashville included All-Tournament selections Alex Curry, Kyler Lawrence and Justin Reed.
“Great job, guys,” Coach Kyle Slayton said of his team’s performance. “Congratulations to Nick Myers for being named tourney MVP.”
Jeff Gross, son of the late Ralph Gross, presented the awards at the end of the tournament.
The Scrappers opened the tournament with a 7-6 win over Horatio March 6. Horatio took a 1-0 lead in the first inning before the Scrappers scored three times in the second.
The Lions tied the game at 3-3 in the third, and the contest remained deadlocked in the fourth and fifth innings as each team put up three runs. The Scrappers pulled away to stay in the bottom of the sixth when a sacrifice fly by Justin Reed scored Andy Graves and gave Scrappers the lead for good.
The Scrappers ended the night with 7 runs, 8 hits and 6 errors.
Dylan Chambers and Myers had 2 runs each, with 1 a piece from Lucas Liggin, Kory Snodgrass and Graves.
Reed pitched 6 innings, giving up 6 hits and recording 3 strikeouts.
Curry finished the game with no hits and 3 strikeouts.
The Scrappers took a 4-2 win over Star City in the semifinals March 7.
Nashville took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and added 2 runs in the second to go up 3-0. Star City scored both of its runs in the top of the third, and the Scrappers scored the final run of the night in the fourth.
Storm Nichols led the team with 2 runs; Myers and Ty Whitworth had 1 each.
Curry pitched the entire game, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and striking out 8.
The win over Star City sent the Scrappers to Saturday night’s championship game against Redwater.
Nashville jumped on top early, scoring twice in the first inning to go up 2-0. Redwater scored in the top of the second, with 2 Scrapper runs in the bottom of the inning.
Redwater narrowed the margin with 2 runs in the third and tied the contest at 4-4 in the top of the fifth. Nashville scored in the bottom of the fifth for a 5-4 lead; neither side scored in the sixth.
The seventh inning saw Redwater score twice, giving the Dragons a 6-5 lead as the game went to the bottom of the seventh.
Trace Beene scored on a passed ball to tie the game, and Zach Jamison scored the final run for the win.
Reed and Liggin pitched against Redwater. Liggin gave up 4 runs on 6 hits and struck out 1. Reed gave up 2 hits and 2 runs.
The Scrappers won the first Ralph Gross Memorial in 2005. Other titles came in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Ashdown won in 2006, Pleasant Grove, Texas, in 2008 and Shiloh Christian in 2012.
Slayton offered his thanks to “all the parents that had to help out this weekend at the Ralph Gross Tournament. Your time was appreciated. Big thanks also to Coach [James ‘Bunch’] Nichols and Twyla for all they do.”
With the tournament championship, the Scrappers are 3-0 on the season. They will host Junction City Thursday, March 13 at 4:30 p.m. and Foreman Friday, March 14, at 5 p.m.