It was the top of the third inning. The American League Yankees led the Tigers by four runs and seemed to be in complete control of the game. The Tigers knew they had to turn the tide, and soon, or their goal of a tournament championship would become harder to achieve.
After struggling to produce hits against the Yankees, the Tigers’ offense began to find its rhythm. A pair of base hits and a walk loaded the bases for the Tigers, putting Tynan Howze in prime position to mount a comeback. Howze’s line drive into center field brought runners home from second and third bases, gave the Tigers their first runs of the day, and sparked a surge of momentum for his team. Markie Delgadillo added to the Tigers’ energy with an RBI of his own, bringing Howze across the plate with a short hit into center field and cutting the Yankees’ lead by one.
“It was a very tough, come from behind win,” Tiger head coach Leon Curtis said. “It was a group effort with our hitting and especially our pitching.”
The Tigers’ pitching stepped up in the bottom of the third, fending off the heavy hitting Yankees with Jake Abrams and a host of other hurlers. After a three up-three down inning, the Tigers offense kept things rolling in the fourth. An Abram double tied the game and was followed by another Howze RBI, giving the Tigers their first lead of the day, 5-4.
The Tigers’ defense held off the Yankees for the remainder of the game with accurate pitching and key assists. The Tigers scored their final run in the sixth inning when the Yankees walked a runner home.
“It’s always been a battle between us; the Yankees are a quality team,” Curtis said. “We knew game one was going to be the critical game and the kids did a great job.”
The Tigers will face the Rangers today. The Rangers won a tough, 10-inning battle against the Indians on Friday by a score of 10-6. The winner of today’s game will earn a spot in the American League Championship on Tuesday.