Landreth, Braves hold off M’s in Belgrade tourney opener

Colton Landreth slapped an RBI single to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning Thursday morning in the Braves’ Belgrade Tournament opener against the Mission Valley Mariners.

The play, which increased Livingston’s lead to 8-4, turned out to be the difference maker as Mission Valley’s attempted rally with two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh fell short in the Braves’ 8-7 decision.

Livingston returned to the diamond in a second-round game with the Mets of Regina, Saskatchewan.

Regina scored a pair of fourth-inning runs and one in the sixth, but Livingston responded with a solo run in the fourth and a pair in the seventh to knot the score at 3-all.

The tilt ended after eight innings due to  a tournament-imposed time limit to complete games.

In the opener, which featured a combined 20 hits and seven errors, Mission Valley struck first, scoring runs on a Livingston miscue and an RBI single from Jace Crawford for a quick 2-0 lead through the top of the first inning.

With one swing of the bat, Braves Tanner Hall trimmed the lead to 2-1 with a home run over the right field wall.

Livingston hurler Scott Wilson and the Braves defense shut down the Mariners offense in the second and third innings.

Although the Braves were held scoreless in the second inning, they made up for it in the third.

Austin Carroll’s single to center field scored Wilson and Gunner Lehrer to hand Livingston its first lead of the game at 3-2.

But they weren’t done there.

Colton Gavne ripped a double to center to bring home Hall and Carroll, and a Mariner’s error two plays later increased the Livingston lead to 7-2.

After a scoreless fourth inning, Mission Valley closed the gap with a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but Landreth’s RBI single turned out to be the difference maker.

Gavne and Carroll helped spark the Braves with two RBIs  each; Hall had a game-high three hits and added two runs scored; and Lay finished with two hits and a pair of runs scored.

Against Regina, defense set the tone for both squads.

Carroll and Hall were pivotal in the Braves’ seventh-inning rallying.

Each hit RBI singles in Livingston’s two-run inning that knotted the score at 3-all.

Lay tossed five complete innings, limiting the Mets to two runs on four hits with two strikeouts, while Gavne came in  relief, throwing for three innings, allowing one hit and one run.

The Braves returned to action Friday morning against Pacific Tech. Complete results of the matchup were not available at press time.