By Travis Mounts
Three up, three down.
The Cheney Diamond Dawgs picked up a trio of victories in their first three games during the National Baseball Congress World Series championship week. The victories make the Diamond Dawgs one of the favorites moving into the final stages of the annual tournament that goes back to the 1930s.
On Monday, Cheney run-ruled the Texas Express, 13-4, giving the Dawgs their third straight win in the tournament and dropping the Express to 0-3 and ending their NBC run.
Cheney jumped out to an early lead with a 3-run first inning, and they never looked back.
After scoring a run in the third to lead 4-1, the Diamond Dawgs exploded for 5 runs in the fourth.
The Express fought back, and after a 2-run sixth inning had cut Cheney’s lead to 9-4.
The Dawgs then answered with 4 more runs in the seventh to go up 13-4, and the game was called after seven innings. Cheney outhit Texas 10-4, and the Express helped the Diamond Dawgs by committing five errors.
Cheney used five pitchers. Braxton Webb was credited with the win. The combined pitching effort notched five strikeouts, while giving up four hits and four runs, three of them earned.
Kyler Castillo had three hits and 4 runs batted in to pace the offense. Andrew Miller and Micah Grover, a Cheney High graduate, each added 2 RBI. Grover was the designated hitter Monday.
The Diamond Dawgs now advance to the knockout rounds of the NBC. Their next game will be on Thursday, but at press time Tuesday their opponent and game time had not been determined.
Twelve teams will advance to the knockout rounds, with eight teams playing on Wednesday.
The Diamond Dawgs, as winner of their pool, got a first-round bye. They are set to play the Derby Twins at 7 p.m. Thursday in the feature game at the NBC. The Twins beat the Haysville Aviators 7-6 Wednesday in a walk-off fashion, thanks to a wild pitch.
Continue following Cheney’s run through the NBC on The Times-Sentinel’s website, www.tsnews.com.