When inclement weather struck the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina, on Friday, tournament organizers decided to shorten games to seven innings.
That was just the amount the Southern Nevada Blue Sox needed.
The Blue Sox broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh when Garrett Giles drove a fly ball deep enough to center field to score Ryne Nelson from third and give the team a 1-0 win over Shrewsbury (Massachusetts), its first victory of the tournament.
“Obviously we pitched and played defense,” Blue Sox coach Scott Baker said. “Offensively … they’re exposing us a little bit but I felt like later in the game the kids starting having better at-bats.”
Nelson started the seventh with a double, and advanced to third on Jesse Fontaboa’s single two batters later before scoring on Giles’ sacrifice fly.
Shane Spencer was masterful on the mound for the Blue Sox, twirling a one-hit shutout with two strikeouts and two walks. He faced two batters above the minimum, and threw 71 pitches.
“He had all three pitches going,” Baker said. “He was very efficient and after the first inning, I don’t know if he missed any spots.”
Because the World Series uses pool play, the Blue Sox were not eliminated with their 9-1 loss to Creighton Prep (Nebraska) on Thursday. Based on how games go Saturday and Sunday, the Blue Sox can advance to the championship round with a victory in its next game, Sunday at 9 a.m. against Midland (Michigan). They are off Saturday.