It was a series of highs and lows for the Elkins Little League 9-10-year old All-Star Baseball Team in District 8 play this weekend in Summersville, but the boys of summer managed to pull out two wins and will advance to the winners' bracket to play Summersville Blue at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to crown a champion.
If Saturday's first round of tourney play came easy - a 36-0 shutout against Craigsville in only four innings - then Sunday's game tested the players' resolve. They faced off against Braxton County, and at one point Elkins was losing by 14-6 before a rally in the fifth inning tied the game at 14 all. Relief pitcher Devan Lamarne was able to hold Braxton County in the sixth, and Elkins' bats continued the hot streak.
Saturday standout Corey Reed, who also was that game's starting pitcher, had lightning strike twice. He hit Sunday's game-winning run - a single - to bring Cassius "Cash" Keating home. This was after Reed posted outstanding stats of 13 RBIs at six at bats on Saturday. In that contest he had one in-field grand slam home run, four triples and a single. On Sunday, in addition to the game-winning single, he also had two other singles, a double and a triple for four RBIs.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Heather Goodwin Henline
Logan Gray (5) swings at a pitch in the All-Stars’ contest Sunday against Braxton County. Elkins came back from being down by a 14-6 score to win the game, 15-14, at the end of the sixth inning. Cory Reed knocked in the game-winning single to bring Cassius 'Cash' Keating home.
Other players of note in Sunday's game included: Jacob Bender with two singles for two RBIs; Lamarne with a single and a double for two RBIs; and starting pitcher Bobby Henline with a single, a triple and one RBI. Henline got in to trouble on the mound early in the game but pulled a double play on defense to help Elkins in the second inning.
In Saturday's game, standouts in addition to Reed were: Henline and Jeffery Parsons with four RBIs each for Elkins.
Manager Junior Lamarne said Elkins' first matchup in the tournament was against a relatively inexperienced team.
"They were a lot younger; this was their first time here," he said of Craigsville.
The road was tougher against Braxton County, but he said he was proud of Elkins for digging deep to come from behind for the win.
"The second game we came out flat and got behind early. Then the boys decided they wanted to play ball and fight back, which they did and everything turned out really good with a win," Lamarne said.
He said Elkins will face a challenge against Summersville Blue in the finals.
"They are probably the best team down here. They've got a lot of pitching, so we've got to be ready to swing the bat, throw strikes and field the ball.
"Tell the Elkins faithful to be down here," Lamarne said in the hope local
baseball fans will travel to help cheer for the team at Tuesday's showdown.