The 2011 11-year-old District Two tournament, which is scheduled to run through Wednesday, is being played at Hamilton Crossing with seven teams involved in a double-elimination event being played on fields 11 and 12.
The Blue was led by pitcher Maddox Teems, who doubled in the game's first two runs and then scored from third when a Grizzly pitcher unsuccessfully tried to outfox a second Blue baserunner who was stealing second.
Teems allowed two hits in two innings of work and struck out two Grizzlies. Bartow chalked up nine hits, including two doubles, and six bases on balls in the game shortened to three and a half innings due to the run rule.
Also boosting the Blue were Noah Dutton and Cody Henderson, who both scored three runs each in the winning cause.
Dakotah Mason, assistant coach, said the Bartow team took over the game because of its playing style. "[We were] aggressive at the plate and aggressive on the bases. Everybody played hard and executed our game plan."
He said all of Teems' pitches were working and it kept the Grizzlies under control. "He was throwing a fast ball, a changeup and a nice little curve ball," Mason said.
Teems also made his presence felt in the batter's box by knocking in the team's first two runs. "He's a big hitter for us," Mason said.
Bartow opened the game with Teems on the mound, from where he frustrated attempts by the Grizzlies to score.
The Grizzlies had gotten a single with just one out in the top of the inning, but Teems coaxed a double-play ball out of the game's fourth batter, erasing both runners.
The Bartow Blue team was not as accommodating in its part of the first inning.
Dutton and Henderson both showed patience and were rewarded with bases on balls. Teems then pounded a double just over the head of the Grizzlies' centerfielder, staking his team to a 2-0 lead. Teems went to third on a wild pitch and scored while the Grizzlies were trying to throw out Grayson Bagwell, who distracted the Grizzlies' pitcher by stealing second.
Bagwell, Tyler Hendon and Brandon Geer added three more runs before the inning expired and their team had a 6-0 lead after one complete inning.
Bartow scored three runs in the bottom of the second, courtesy of Dutton, Henderson and Bagwell, then two runs in the bottom of the third, again by Dutton and Henderson.
The Bartow Blue plays today at 3 p.m. against the B.P.S. Indians, who defeated the AO.P. Tide, 11-8, in play Saturday.
The Bartow White, the county's second team in the tournament, opens its play at 1 p.m. today against the Rome Green Jackets, who defeated CP.C. Stingers, 11-1, in play Saturday.
Mason said it's important for the Blue to stay focused on winning each game played in the tournament.
"If we win tomorrow," he said Saturday, "it'll give us a good place in the winner's bracket."