Dramatic title run for Elkins All-Stars
NUTTER?FORT – The Elkins 14-year-old All-Stars had the flare for the dramatics in capturing the state tournament Sunday at Frank Loria Field.
Elkins had two walk-off wins over the weekend, including Sunday’s 8-7 win over Huntington Southeastern in the title game. The area All-Stars trailed 7-5 entering the bottom of the seventh before rallying.
After Huntington plated two runs in the top of the seventh to break a 5-5 deadlock, Shane Bodkin started the home-half of the frame for Elkins with a single. Ben Huffman and Caleb Riggleman then drew walks to load the bases for Blake Loftis, who cleared the bases with a double down the right-field line to end the game.
“I’m so proud of this team,” Elkins manager Jack Crumm said. “They really played with a lot of heart to win this title. We came out (Sunday) emotionally drained from Saturday’s games but found a way to come through.”
Elkins cruised past Huntington in Saturday’s first game by a count of 13-7 as David Gainer and Bodkin each went 3 for 4, and later met Beckley in another thriller.
With the scored tied at 6-6, Matt Wilson lofted a sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the seventh to score Loftis with the winning run.
“We really came together as a family against Beckley,” Crumm said. “It was a hard-fought game in very hot conditions and the kids really pumped each other up.”
Huntington earned a rematch against Elkins by blanking Beckley, 4-0, in the loser’s bracket finale.
Gainer had quite a weekend on the mound for Elkins. He was the winning pitcher in all three games, starting the opener and finishing in relief in the other two.
Loftis, Rece Wamsley and Adam Riggleman also saw time on the mound.
“David’s pitch count was low, so we were able to bring him back,” Crumm said. “David, and our other pitchers, all performed well and we played good defense behind them.
“It was just a total team effort.”
Other members of the Elkins All-Stars include Daniel Hamrick, Jace Kyle, Kyle Riggleman, Will Crumm and Cory Gillespie.
Crumm is assisted by Ron Huffman and Dan Hamrick, while Todd Riggleman is the team’s scorekeeper.
Elkins advances to the Ohio Valley?Regional Tournament, which will take place July 24-28 in Jasper, Ind.