Stellar pitching carries Elkins to victory

SOUTH CHARLESTON – Elkins once again received dominating pitching in Little League 11-12-year-old state tournament as three pitchers contributed to keep Pineville hitless in an 11-1 win Tuesday night at Little Creek Park.

Jessie Williams, Read Schumacher and Jonathan Phillips combined for 17 strikeouts on the night, and only two Pineville batters put the ball into play, both coming on groundouts in the sixth inning.

The victory gave Elkins the Pool B championship and it will face the loser of today’s Pool C contest between Martinsburg and Barboursville at 6 p.m. Thursday when the tournament switches to a single-elimination format.

“To get another no-hitter in the state tournament is quite an accomplishment for our pitchers,” Elkins manager Jim Gainer said. “But we need to start hitting the ball or we’re not going to go much further in the tournament.

“That’s a real concern because the level of competetion will increase starting on Thursday.”

In a game that was delayed twice due to lightning and finished close to 11:30 p.m., Elkins took control early, striking for six runs over the first two innings.

Beau Bright had an RBI single and Phillips a run-producing double in the first, while three Pineville errors, a two-run double by Schumacher and an RBI single by Bright accounted for the second-inning tally.

Jessie Williams, meanwhile, dominated on the mound, striking out seven of the first eight batters he faced before giving way to Schumacher in the third inning.

Pineville scored its lone run and the first allowed by Elkins pitching in the tournament when Tanner Hall drew a bases-loaded walk in the third.

Schumacher finished with five strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings. Phillips fanned five batters during his time on the hill.

Elkins broke the game open in the sixth with five more runs. Phillips and Grant Simmons had RBI fielder’s choices and Elliott White added a two-run single. Another run crossed on a throwing error.

Bright and White each had two hits for the winners.

“Our goal was to get the highest possible seed coming out of pool play and we accomplished that,” Gainer said.

“Whover we face on Thursday will be a big challenge. Both of those teams are very good and we have to come out and play our best to be successful.”

Evan Preece, Preston Breeden, Hall and Tyler Bradford all saw time on the hill for Pinesville. Breeden relived Preece in the second and struck out four and didn’t allow a hit in 3 1/3 innings.

Pinesville will face Bridgeport today with the winner advancing to the single-elimination tourney as the Pool B runner-up.