Delaware beats Alabama, 10-3, in bronze medal game of Special Olympics baseball tournament
Delaware was declared the winner while still batting in the bottom of the fifth inning due to time constraints. Special Olympics games are scheduled to last seven innings or two hours, whichever comes first, and the time limit also comes with a caveat that no new inning is to begin after one hour and 45 minutes have passed; that threshold was reached with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, and with the home team up, the umpires stopped the game and awarded it to the First Staters.
Delaware had beaten Alabama, 7-3, in the round-robin portion of the tournament earlier in the week, and they jumped out to a quick 2-0 advantage in the first thanks to a two-run double by Jeffrey Marconi off Alabama starter Arthur Hood.
The southerners would strike back in the second off Delaware's Steve Ledden, with the first three batters reaching to load the bases with no one out. Ledden struck out Reginald Glaude, but he hit Dossie King with a pitch to bring in the first run before Craig Bell's two-run double gave Alabama a 3-2 lead.
Delaware tied the game in the bottom of the frame thanks to a double by David McElrath and an RBI single from Jordan Little, and after zeroes in the third and fourth, the First Staters used a big fifth inning to take control of the game.
Hood allowed the first three batters to reach before leaving the mound due to a foot injury he had suffered running the bases in the fourth inning, and Delaware drew two walks and a hit batsman and singled twice off replacement Roderick Patton to make the score 8-3.
Tyler Smith came in to relieve Patton, but he walked Ledden to make it 9-3 and hit Marconi with a pitch to make it 10-3. After a short delay to tend to Alabama catcher Ryan Johnson, Smith struck out Travol Bradley for the final out of the game just before 6:30 p.m.
Following the game, Delaware was awarded their medals and both teams -- as well as tournament finalists Rhode Island and New Jersey -- were awarded commemorative coins by the Baseball Hall of Fame, with a contingent led by New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Trenton Thunder players Tyler Austin and Aaron Dott handing out the awards.
Delaware is on the board as the first-ever Special Olympics USA Games baseball medalists, and the first-ever gold and silver medals were set to be handed out later in the night following the finale between the teams from the Garden and Ocean States.