WILLIAMSBURG--The North Laurel 11-year-old All-Stars held off the Corbin 11-year-old All-Stars 7-5 in extra innings on Saturday to win their third straight 11-year-old All-Stars District 4 championship.
"It shows a lot about the heart these kids have for the game," said North Laurel 11-year-old All-Stars Coach Kyle Elza. "Three years in a row--that's tough to do in this district."
One run in the top of the first inning gave North Laurel the early lead but Corbin quickly answered when Trey Person sailed a ball over the fence to give Corbin a two-run home run and the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Two runs in the third inning gave North Laurel the lead once again, 4-2.
A double by Landon Rose drove in two runs for Corbin in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game up at four a piece, followed by a single by Hunter Todd to drive in one run for Corbin, giving the Corbin 11-year-old All-Stars a 5-4 lead.
A single by Dylan Hurley drove in one run for North Laurel in the top of the sixth inning to tie up the game once again, 5-5.
When Corbin couldn't answer with another run in the bottom of the sixth inning, the game went into extra innings.
"I told my guys that if we could just score one run that Cooper (Elza) was coming in (to pitch)," Elza said. "I knew we had a shot if we could score one run with Cooper pitching and they did it. They put the bat on the ball and gave us the run."
North Laurel added two runs in the seventh inning to give themselves a two-run lead, 7-5.
Cooper entered the game in the bottom of the seventh inning and recorded the final three outs to earn the save for North Laurel.
"Cooper Elza has been hurt but he said he was ready to throw today so he threw lights out in the last inning," Elza said. "I knew if he had his stuff he could strike them out."
With the win, the North Laurel 11-year-old All-Stars will be moving on to the 11-year-old State Tournament, which is set to begin this week.
This will make North Laurel's third straight appearance in the state tournament where North Laurel has ended up in the Final Four the past two years but Elza said this year is going to be different.
"We've been there, these kids know what it's about so we want to try and do something better than final four," Elza said. "We're going to try to go farther this year."