Newton’s Calloway leads summer team to win in tourney opener

COLLEGE PARK - If the GBSA Sox are to contend for a championship in the World Wood Bat 16-under Tournament, Mason Calloway figures to have a prominent role. For the Newton High School rising junior and the Sox, things got off to a great start Friday morning.

Calloway pitched 3 1/3 effective innings to pick up the win and he scored what turned out to be the winning in a 5-2 victory in six innings over Team Rawlings Citius in the opener of pool play at Banneker High School.

GBSA, a team based out of Decatur, played its second pool game Friday against MAP Baseball in a game that ended too late for this edition.

Calloway was the catalyst on the mound and at the plate in the opener. The left-hander had just one difficult stretch when he allowed four consecutive baserunners and Team Rawlings’ only runs of the day on a run-scoring double by Walker Tolar and a double play ball that made it a 2-0 game. Calloway also induced a big double play on a line out by Tyler Bielamowicz to help him get out of the third, then got what looked to be his third double play ball in the fourth. After GBSA got the force out at second base on Noberto Cervantes’ ground ball, Cervantes was called safe at first on the return throw by shortstop Isreal Zackery (Heritage High School). Javon Russell relieved and the right-hander got a pair of strikeouts to end the threat.

GBSA trailed 2-1 before taking the lead for good with a four-run bottom of the third. Tyler Grant led off the inning with a walk and Calloway, who batted leadoff Friday, followed with the first of his two infield singles. A misplay by Team Rawlings’ starter and losing pitcher Hunter Edwards on Myles Smith’s bunt, which turned out to be Edwards’ last batter, loaded the bases, then reliever Marshall Skinner hit Jaquez Williams with a pitch, forcing in Grant with the tying run. Salem High School’s Jason Howell followed with an RBI-groundout that chased home Calloway to put GBSA ahead to stay at 3-2.

Russell and Smith worked in and out of trouble in both the fifth and sixth to help preserve the win. Russell allowed a single to Skinner and walked Justin Mora with two outs in the fifth, but got the last of his three strikeouts against Ethan Cherry to avoid any harm. In the sixth, GBSA turned its third double play to empty the bases with two outs (Zackery was involved in each of the twin killings) before Russell walked Cervantes. Smith also issued a walk on his first batter, to Marcus Cantu that brought Tolar to the plate as the tying run, but the Team Rawlings’ third baseman struck out looking to end the game.