MGBA, Osby win again

DECATUR -- When the players on Baseball Mentoring Program pack up and head back to Sacramento, Calif., later this week, they'll probably be fine if they never have to see Darren Osby again.

Osby struck out 17 in a dominant, complete-game outing Tuesday, leading the MGBA Braves to a 5-1 victory in pool play of the World Wood Bat 18-Under National Championship at Druid Hills Middle School.

MGBA, based out of Conyers, moved to 5-0-1 in its pool and will play Foundation Sports today at 11:30 a.m. at Hunter Park in Douglasville.

In the Braves' tournament opener Friday, Osby allowed one run and struck out 10 in a complete game effort, but he was even better Tuesday. The 6-foot-3 right-hander, who is unsigned heading into his senior season at defending Class AAAA state champion Redan, struck out Anthony Geremia looking to end the first, then struck out the side in each of the next four innings. Leading 1-0, Osby allowed an unearned run in the top of the second when George Sammon doubled, stole third and scored the tying run when catcher Fentress Henderson's throw sailed into left field.

Osby didn't allow much after that.

He worked around BMP's only threat in the fifth. After two strikeouts, Osby hit Bryce Berry with a pitch, gave up a single to Taylor Avakian and walked Lucas Still to load the bases. Osby got a strikeout of Brett Bucey to get out of the inning.

Henderson erased the last baserunner Osby allowed, throwing out Liam McIntire on a steal attempt after McIntire had ripped a one-out single in the sixth.

MGBA, which has outscored its first six tournament opponents 53-4, snapped a 1-1 tie and got all the runs it would need in the third against BMP starter Thomas Hummer.

The inning began innocently enough when Eriq White hit a slow bouncer between the hole at third base and shortstop. The speedy White had the play beat, but McIntire hurried a throw anyway and it went into the first base dugout, allowing White to move to second. Chad Smith followed with a go-ahead triple to chase home White, and Henderson's RBI single made it 3-1. Newton rising senior Kenny Glover ran for Henderson and stole second, and later came around to score on Kelvin Winibish's double that chased Hummer from the game. After a sacrifice, Jared Maner's run-scoring single made it a 5-1 game.

Bucey pitched well in four innings of scoreless relief of Hummer. The right-hander allowed the one inherited runner to score in the third on Maner's single, but surrendered just two more base runners -- a double to Winibish and a walk to pinch-hitter Matt Clopton in the sixth -- the rest of the way.