Strong pitching led the way and a clutch, two-out hit sealed the deal for the younger ConchBallers to finish the 2020 HSBN 18U Key West Fall Challenge unbeaten in three games, while the ConchBall U18 squad lost just once, meaning the Key West High baseball program complete the three-day event hosted at Rex Weech Field at 5-1 overall.
During the winter league tournament, the ConchBall Red, which consisted mainly of the younger players from the Conchs’ high school program, trailed early in all three of its victories, including in the opener against West Broward, which held a 1-0 advantage through the third despite Jack Burnham striking out six and allowing only four base runners in the first four frames. In the bottom of the fourth, the Conchs put up five runs, and then two more in the sixth, paced by a pair of hits from Burnham, to claim the opener.
Once again, in Game 2 on Halloween, ConchsBall trailed after surrendering a run in the first, but that was quickly erased with five runs in their first two at-bats. Sagemont did add three runs in the third to make it a one-run difference, but that would as close as the Lions came, as Key West crossed five times in the fifth and sixth to improve to 2-0.
Looking to close out the tournament undefeated, ConchBall trailed for the third time, 2-0, heading into the bottom of the second, when the home squad plated six runs and never relinquished the lead again.
For the tournament, Wyatt Kuhn laced five hits and Anthony Lariz, Anden Rady and Burnham each lined four. Rady joined Burnham with four dominate innings of work as Rady won Game 2. Jack Haggard and Noah Burnham both shut out their opponents on the mound.
In total, six teams competed in the weekend event at Rex Weech, playing nine games.