LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
South London grabbed the momentum early. Once they lost it, Corbin didn’t give it back.
“Baseball is a game of momentum,” Corbin coach Tony Combs said. “Hitting is contagious.”
Corbin advanced in the Little League 9-10 Area 2 Tournament with a 13-8 win. It was all South London early as the host team came out swinging.
After starter Parker Payne retired Corbin in order in the first inning, South London sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning and scored five runs.
Ashton Garland led off with a single and Tucker Warren reached on an error. The first run scored on a single by Colsen Hays. With one out, Caden Jones singled home two more runs. Jagger McGhee and Cameron Smith drew walks to load the bases. With two outs, another run scored when the Corbin shortstop couldn’t handle a hard shot by Payne.
Combs said his team wasn’t shaken by being down 5-0.
“Every game we have dug a hole. We told them we have to get to the second pitcher,” Combs said.
Ryan Peace would reach on an error and score an unearned run for Corbin in the second inning. Josh Werner also singled and scored to make it a 5-2 game. South London threatened with Hays and Ayden Smith both drawing walks. Both runners would be stranded.
It all came together for Corbin in the third inning. Seven runs scored on six hits. The big blows were two-run doubles by Jacob Graeter and Jacob Baker.
“These guys are mostly 9 and 10-year olds. The biggest thing they do is believe,” Combs said.
South London would get one run back in the bottom of the third to make it a 9-6 game. Cameron Smith doubled off the left field fence and scored on a throwing error.
Corbin held onto the momentum with three runs in the fourth inning and another run in the sixth for a 13-6 lead.
South London tried to rally in the sixth inning. Ayden Smith and Caden Jones each had doubles in the inning as South London plated two more runs.
The loss knocks South London out of the tournament. Corbin advances to the finals of the loser’s bracket against Clay County. The winner of that game will move on to the district tournament as Area 2 runner up. The district will start Monday at Middlesboro.