CORBIN — Despite reeling off five consecutive wins, the North Laurel 11-12 year-old All Stars’ quest of reaching the state tournament came to an end on Sunday.
Cole Stevens’ home run in the top of the seventh inning broke a one-all tie, and eventually turned into the game-winning hit, as the Corbin 11-12 year-old All Stars defeated North Laurel, 2-1, in the title game of the District 4 Tournament.
Stevens came up to the plate in the seventh inning hitless in his first three at-bats, but delivered the first pitch he saw from North Laurel’s Eli Holt over the left field fence, giving teammate Clay Botner a one-run lead to play with on the mound in the bottom of the seventh.
Botner retired the side in order and capped off his two-inning scoreless effort, helping advance Corbin to state tournament play.
Dusty Allen’s North Laurel squad had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the sixth inning after seeing both Holt and Ashton Clemons reach base with consecutive walks with no outs.
Botner managed to get out of the jam by getting Brody Rice to ground into a double play while striking out Cameron Smith to end North Laurel's scoring threat.
North Laurel was able to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning after seeing EJ Allen score on Holt’s misplayed grounder.
Corbin tied the game at one apiece in the top of the third inning after Cam Estep’s run-scoring triple scored JP Carmichael.
Estep, Jayden Davis and Stevens each finished with a hit for Corbin while Carter Kelley and Benjamin Baker had North Laurel’s lone hits.
Keaton Smith turned in another solid pitching effort for Corbin, tossing four innings while surrendering only two hits. He also struck out seven batters. Lucas Brittain followed by tossing an inning of scoreless relief.
Holt tossed 6 2/3 of an inning for North Laurel, allowing only three hits and one earned run. He finished with 10 strikeouts while Benjamin Baker struck out the only batter he faced.