FARMINGTON — The South Troy Dodgers came through when it mattered most.
After being bounced from last year's Connie Mack World Series and knocked out of this year's American Qualifier by the Frozen Ropes, South Troy topped the Ropes 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon in Game 10 of the CMWS at Ricketts Park.
"That's the first time in five games against them that we've beat them," said South Troy's Darian Blanks, who scored the game-winning run. "It's thrilling. We beat them when it mattered."
The Dodgers, out of New York, got on the board in the top of the second inning with first baseman Sean Egan scoring from third when Alex Koshgarian singled over second baseman Jake Stacy's head.
The Frozen Ropes, the American Qualifier from Texas, looked as though they would answer in the bottom of the second when South Troy pitcher Tyler Childrose walked three batters to load the bases with just one out on the board. But Childrose recovered, striking out Brady Usherwood and Brady Manning to get out of the inning unscathed.
In the top of the third, Frozen Ropes committed errors on back-to-back at bats, but the team managed to get out of the inning without any damage when Egan was tagged out trying to leap over Ropes' catcher Colin Simpson at the plate for the final out of the inning.
"We tried to stay aggressive. That was the game plan today," said South Troy manager Kevin Rogers. "We ran into a couple of outs, but as long as we're hustling, that's OK. Our goal was to keep moving up 90 feet, and we may have been a little too aggressive a couple of times."
Frozen Ropes tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Usherwood hit an RBI single to right, bringing Jason Reitmeier home from second.
The Ropes looked poised to add a few more runs in the inning as they loaded the bases with just one away. But Jarrod Marquissee, who came on in relief of Childrose, got Frozen Ropes shortstop Montana Sadler to hit into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.
"Honestly, that's what has got us here. We've played great defense all year," Rogers said. "We've had a couple of stinkers here in this tournament, but today, defensively we played great and pitched well, and it was a full team effort."
The two stayed even at 1-1 until the top of the seventh.
After reaching on a lead-off walk, Blanks, the nine-hole hitter, advanced to third on a brilliant piece of baserunning when Kevin Smith hit a slow chopper to first.
"I knew it was a hit-and-run, so I got a decent lead, making sure he didn't pick me off," said Blanks, describing the play. "I heard (Smith) hit the ball, so I looked back and saw that the first baseman got it, and as I rounded second, I saw he was just flipping it to the pitcher, so I just took off for third."
Blanks slid safely into third and came home for the go-ahead run on a suicide squeeze with Josh Quesada.
"I knew we were doing a squeeze the whole time, so I just waited for the sign, waited for that moment, and as soon as it happened I just took off," Blanks said. "When he laid it down, I knew I was safe."
The loss ends Frozen Ropes' CMWS, after the team dropped a 6-3 game Monday against the Midland Redskins.
"Just being able to get here is a huge accomplishment. No doubt about it," Frozen Ropes manager Danny Florence said after the game. "I warned them about it, that loss. It's always tough after you get that loss. You can come out flat, and we were. We couldn't overcome it mentally, especially at the plate. We didn't have our same pep at the plate."
While Frozen Ropes' season ends, South Troy's is still alive and will remain Farmington, where Blanks says the experience has been unbelievable.
"The experience here is amazing. Everybody's nice. It seems like it's unreal," he said. "There are kids coming up to you after the game, asking for your autograph, asking for your cleats, hat, glove. It's really an unbelievable experience. I love it."