LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel Blue scored six runs in the first inning, then cruised to a 16-4 win over Corbin No. 1 in the boys’ 9-10 year old Area 2 tournament at South London Little League.
“You never expect to win by such a large margin when playing an “A” team,” North Blue coach Chris Edwards said. “We were able to take advantage of some stuff and we hit the ball well. You’ve got to pitch and play defense to win and we did that today.”
North Laurel pitcher Chase Keen held Corbin scoreless in his 2 1/3 innings of work. Corbin scored four runs in the third inning off Reed Sheppard, but by that time North Blue had built an 8-0 lead.
North Blue struck for six runs in the bottom of the first to grab the early lead.
Sheppard led things off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on an error and scored when Deaton Rush reached on an error. Kyle Elza, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. Rush came home on a single by Keen, who would later score on another wild pitch to up the lead to 4-0. Now with the bases loaded Sheppard, batting for the second time in the inning, stroked a two-run single to make it 6-0.
Two more runs came across in the bottom of the second as the lead grew to 8-0. Keen had an RBI double in the inning.
Corbin came back to score four runs in the top of the third to cut the lead to 8-4. Parker Norvell had a two RBI single for Corbin in the inning.
Any thoughts of a Corbin comeback was put to rest in the bottom of the inning when North Blue scored eight runs to up its lead to 16-4.
Clay Sizemore led off by reaching on an error which allowed him to reach second base, where Walt Hellard came in to run for him. Hellard scored on a ground out by Auggie Storm. Sheppard reached on another error, and Elza followed with a single to score Sheppard. Rush followed that by blasting a two-run homer over the center field fence to up the lead to 12-4. For Rush, it was his 18th home run of the season.
Keen then doubled, Corey Broughton singled and Lucas Butler walked to load the bases. Keen scored on a wild pitch, then Sizemore doubled in two more runs as the lead ballooned to 15-4. Sizemore scored the final North run when Storm reached on an error.
Broughton took over on the mound for North in the top of the fourth and shut Corbin down in order.
“This team plays well together,” Edwards said. “They are a good bunch of kids who have been working real hard for the past couple of weeks. They do what we ask of them, and it’s good when hard work pays off.”
North Blue will now face Clay County tonight at 8 p.m.
Corbin No. 1 9, North Laurel Green 5
North Green opened tournament action by falling to Corbin No. 1, 9-5, on Saturday.
Corbin struck for five runs in the top of the first before North Green came back to score four of its own in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to one.
Three straight walks to Robert Choptaw, Brody Brock and Noah Rush loaded the bases. Choptaw would score on a wild pitch, then Blaize Jones singled to bring home Brock. Now with two outs, Kaise Messer walked to again load the bases for Jack McArdle, who also walked to force in Rush. Another walk, this time to Matthew Sanders, brought Jones home and the lead was down to 5-4.
Corbin scored twice in the top of the second to push its lead to 7-4. It stayed that way until the top of the fifth when Corbin added another run to make it 8-4.
North Green got that run back in the bottom of the inning when McArdle tripled with one out and scored on a single by Choptaw. Corbin added a solo run in the top of the sixth to make it 9-5
North looked to rally in the bottom of the inning when Rush and Jones walked to lead off the inning, but they couldn’t push either run across.