Danny Millson watches his single off the bat during Tuesday’s game against Magnolia, Arkansas at the 12U Cal Ripken World Series in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Photo provided by Angela Wilkinson

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA — Despite falling short in both of its first two games at the 12U Cal Ripken World Series, the All-Stars from Ararat felt confident heading into its third game of the tournament held at Gardens Park.

The confidence was on display in Tuesday’s game against Magnolia, Arkansas, as Ararat scored 13 runs and smacked 15 hits en route to a 13-2 victory in five innings to earn its first victory of the tournament.

“We got the monkey off our back,” head coach Jon Hiltz said after the game. “It feels really good, the boys are continuing to make history.”

Ararat struck first in the top of the second inning when Zac McClenahan drew a bases-loaded walk that scored Jacob Morrell. Four straight Ararat hitters reached with two outs in the inning to rally for the first run.

The bats were just beginning to wake up.

Brady Hiltz waits for a pitch while hitting during Tuesday’s game against Magnolia, Arkansas at the 12U Cal Ripken World Series in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Photo provided by Angela Wilkinson

Ararat broke the game open in the fourth inning by pushing across four runs in the frame. After Ely Cornish singled and David Edwards scored on a throwing error, Daniel Beal smacked a two-run double to right field to up the lead to five. Tyler Thibeault added another run when he legged out an infield single that scored Cornish to make it 6-0.

The fifth inning was no different, as Ararat scored seven times to put the game completely out of reach. Beal struck a fly ball that was dropped by Magnolia that scored two runs, and Thibeault missed his second home run in as many days when he smacked a two-run triple off the center field wall. Will Davis and Jacob Morrell each added RBIs in the inning.

The runs proved to be more than enough for Beal, who started on the mound for Ararat. He tossed four innings and allowed just one run on four hits while striking out six, walking one. Trevor Adams pitched the fifth inning, allowing an unearned run while striking out one.

“Knowing you have your teammates behind you to back you up helps ease things out on the mound,” said Beal, who drove in two runs. “We were a little iffy to start, but we timed it up and made things happen.”

Daniel Beal tosses a pitch during Tuesday’s game against Magnolia, Arkansas at the 12U Cal Ripken World Series in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Photo provided by Angela Wilkinson

Momentum could have swayed Magnolia’s way after Beal was thrown out at the plate in the third inning, trying to score on a Davis single, but Beal shut the door on the mound and Ararat responded with 11 runs in the next two frames.

Magnolia starting pitcher Asher Sharpe took the loss, despite Ararat doing most of its damage off Magnolia’s bullpen. Sharpe allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out two. Kingston Norman, Brody Braswell, and Nolan Walker also pitched for Magnolia.

The player of the game for Ararat was Beal, while Magnolia’s was Sharpe.

Ararat improves to 1-2 and finishes up pool play on Wednesday, taking on Casselton, North Dakota at 3 p.m. Wednesday’s outcome in several games will decide if Ararat moves on to the championship bracket or the “Iron Man” bracket.

“We didn’t play a perfect game today and we realize that,” Hiltz said. “We know we’re going to have to play a similar or even better game to win (Wednesday).”

Magnolia finishes up pool play at 0-4 and will play next in the “Iron Man” bracket.

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