LILLY, Pa. – After an intensely hard-fought nine innings between two near-evenly matched teams, the North Carolina Disco Turkeys managed to maintain their two-run advantage over the Brooklyn-1 Cougars on Wednesday at Lilly-Washington War Memorial Field.
With their 7-5 victory under their belts, the Disco Turkeys will move on to the quarterfinals against Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors at 7 p.m. Thursday at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.
The Disco Turkeys and the Cougars proved to be worthy adversaries for one another on both the offensive and defensive fronts. By the end of the fourth inning, the score was tied at 1-all.
“The Brooklyn Cougars gave us a good test,” North Carolina manager Kirk Cabana said.
“What I loved about those guys was that they never gave up. I knew that no matter how many runs that we had, it wasn’t enough. We had to keep our intensity and energy because we finally faced a team that played the game that we played as well. Fast, hungry and with a lot of emotion. It was a great game, and I give them all the credit in the world for battling until the end.”
The trajectory of the game’s outcome was shaped at the top of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, North Carolina’s Bryson Bebber hit a double that allowed Logan Conklin (3-for-4 with two runs) and Hayden Setzer (three runs) to score, adding two more runs.
“They did their jobs,” Bebber said. “They got on base for me.
“The first pitch was there, and I was lucky enough to slice it down the first-base line and get my guys in. I give them credit for being on base.”
The Disco Turkeys increased their advantage over the Cougars with four more runs in the seventh inning.
North Carolina’s Christian Ezell provided two hits. Bebber drove in three runs. Dane Stewart plated two runs.
Brooklyn-1 refused to take the loss lying down and found a new sense of offensive momentum late in the game. Luis Reyes, John Riviere-Vejas, Ronald Filasame and Jordan Garcias each put up a run for the Cougars in the seventh and eighth innings.
In addition, the Cougars defense denied the Disco Turkeys any more runs in the final two innings of the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, Zane Beaver sealed the victory for North Carolina by delivering three consecutive strikeouts to end the game. Disco Turkeys starting pitcher Matthew Scavotto described seeing Beaver finish the game as “extra special.”
“We go to school together. We played at the same college, so it’s good to see a guy that I trust, a guy that I know to go in there and get the job done,” Scavotto said.
Scavotto received the win for the Disco Turkeys, while Matthew Jones was saddled with the loss for the Brooklyn-1 Cougars. Scavotto had six strikeouts and went seven innings until Beaver provided relief for the last two innings of the game.
The Brooklyn-1 Cougars (1-2) were eliminated.
“We are electrically excited because there’s nothing to lose. We are in the quarterfinals playing the host team in front of multiple thousands of people. There’s not much more you can ask for to culminate your summer,” Cabana said.