Ararat players mob Tyler Thibeault (13) after he hit a two-run home run in Ararat’s 7-5 loss to Green County, Kentucky on Monday at the 12U Cal Ripken World Series in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Photo provided by Angela Wilkinson

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA — The 12U Cal Ripken All-Stars from Ararat made things close in the later innings in its game against Green County, Kentucky at the Cal Ripken Major60 World Series on Monday afternoon, but were unable to complete the comeback.

Despite the offense coming alive late, Green County edged Ararat 7-5 in its second game of pool play at Gardens Park in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

“That was a very solid baseball team we just saw,” Ararat head coach Jon Hiltz said after the game. “We knew we’d have to make some plays behind our pitching. We’d like some of those back, but that’s how baseball goes.”

Green County jumped out early and stayed ahead, grabbing a 4-0 lead in the first two innings, including a three-run second inning. Drew Squires earned the win on the mound for Green County. He tossed four innings and allowed two runs on two hits while striking out eight in four innings. Brady Hiltz started for Ararat and was dealt the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 15 hits while striking out two.

After Ararat’s Tyler Thibeault slugged a two-run home run to center to cut the lead in half, Green County took control in the bottom of the fourth inning by scoring what proved to be three crucial runs. After Deacon James and Squires reached to start the inning, Kealan Curry drove in James with an infield single to make it 5-2.

Ararat turned to Colby MacFawn to get out of the inning, but Green County had other ideas. Chase Milby singled to make it 6-2 and Bryson Underwood drove in another run on a sacrifice fly to increase the lead to five.

Despite the big inning for Green County, Ararat took advantage offensively when Green County turned to relief pitcher Cash Jones.

“It’s the same theme that we’ve continued to talk about all season long, we’re never out of any game,” Hiltz said. “We had a good idea of what they (Green County) wanted to do with their pitching, so we made sure to work the counts and make them work as much as we could.”

Will Davis takes a swing at a pitch during Ararat’s Cal Ripken World Series game on Monday in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida against Green County, Kentucky. Photo provided by Angela Wilkinson

The inning started when David Edwards tripled to right field. After Brady Hiltz walked, Daniel Beal singled home Edwards to make it 7-3. After a wild pitch resulting in Brady Hiltz and Beal each moving up a base, Thibeault singled home Hiltz to make it 7-4. After Will Davis walked and MacFawn grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice to make it 7-5, Green County turned to Cooper Stow on the mound who got out of the inning without allowing any more damage.

Green County was led offensively by Curry, who drove in two runs on a game-high three hits. Remy Brown, James, Squires, Stowe, and Milby all had two hits.

Ararat was paced by Thibeault’s two-hit day which resulted in three RBIs. David Edwards was the only other Ararat player with two hits.

“No,” Thibeault said when asked if he thought his home run was gone off the bat. “I felt really happy and excited when I saw it land over the fence.”

Brown was named player of the game for Green County, while Thibeault earned the same honor for Ararat.

Ararat drops to 0-2 and faces Magnolia, Arkansas (0-2) on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

“We’re going to keep our focus and keep having fun down here,” Hiltz said. “We’re here to have a good time but we’re also here to play baseball, and that part isn’t close to being over just yet.”

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