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Osby helps MGBA with his arm, bat

MARIETTA -- On the opening day of the World Wood Bat 18-Under National Championship, Darren Osby made a great first impression.

The right-hander tossed 6 innings of one-run ball as the Conyers-based MGBA Braves played to a 1-1 tie with the East Cobb Bluejays at Sir Walter Kelly Memorial Field on the campus of Southern Polytechnic State University.

Osby, an unsigned rising senior at Redan High School, struck out 10 batters and scattered five hits in a 106-pitch effort.

MGBA got its only run in the top of the fifth to tie the game. Fentress Henderson had a leadoff single, then stole second on a botched hit-and-run. East Cobb starter Ben Peters threw his last pitch when Kelvin Winibish grounded out to move Henderson to third with one out. Reliever Ryan Young's fifth pitch was lined into left-center field by Khari Anderson for a tying single.

Peters, a North Georgia College and State University commitment, lasted 4 innings and gave up just two hits and the lone earned run.

East Cobb had broken up the scoreless tie in the previous half inning. William Patrick and Marshall University commitment Travis Wildermuth started the frame with singles, and after a sacrifice, Mitchell Benson's sacrifice fly made it a 1-0 game.

East Cobb tried to take the lead in the fifth before some luck helped Osby wiggle out of trouble. With two outs, Henderson tried to throw out Trent Wildermuth at third on a double steal attempt, but his throw deflected off of the bat of Wesley Drain for an interference call and the third out.

Osby worked around a two-out walk and struck out the side in the first. Benson reached on an error by Anderson at second base to open the second, but Osby got a pair of groundouts and struck out Carl Williams to keep the game scoreless.

East Cobb again put the leadoff man on in the third when Brent Alford poked an opposite field double. Osby worked around the extra base hit, getting a ground out and two more strikeouts.

Before breaking through in the fifth, MGBA's best chance to score came in the fourth. The Braves had two on with two outs, but Eriq White was thrown out trying to steal third to end the inning.

Young gave up the tying single, but settled in nicely after that. He retired seven of the final eight batters he faced and was helped when East Cobb catcher Alford picked off Anderson at first to end the sixth.

Osby used his bat to help the Braves pick up their first victory of the tournament Saturday. Tim Card, a rising senior at Arabia Mountain High School, had three RBIs and Osby drove in two in MGBA's 9-1 win over the Houston Banditos.

MGBA (1-0-1) will continue pool play with a doubleheader at Etowah High School today starting with an 11:30 a.m. game against the McDonalds Bears Black, a team of players from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, La.