PRESTONSBURG – It wasn’t perfect, not quite – but pretty darn close to it.

A few base-running blunders likely cost Warren County South’s 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars a couple extra runs in Thursday’s Little League state championship game against Ashland.

Then again, when you’re this good ... a couple runs don’t matter much.

WC South’s rock-steady defense backed a stellar pitching performance by Camden Page and the offense did the rest for a resounding 11-1 mercy-rule win over Ashland to claim the championship.

“So much heart,” WC South head coach Jason Price said of his team. “Camden was throwing a great game, but Ashland’s a great team. I mean, they hit the ball well. We made some plays. The kids just fought, man. It’s amazing – so resilient.”

WC South needed just four innings to lock down the championship, plating two runs in both the first and third innings before administering a final seven-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth to end it.

Already up 4-1 entering the bottom of the fourth, WC South got the clinching rally started with one out on back-to-back singles by James Yarbrough and Page. Justin Capps drove in a run with a single, then Page scored on a wild pitch.

Joseph Fentress followed by reaching on an error to score Capps, then Sonny Price and Lukas Peterson drew back-to-back walks to load the bases.

Dylan Marr and Ryley Oller delivered back-to-back RBI singles to push WC South’s lead to 9-1 before Mason Cosby drew a bases-loaded walk to plate another run. Yarbrough, making his second plate appearance of the game, was hit by a pitch to force in the final run and trigger the 10-run mercy rule.

WC South scored all the runs it ultimately needed in the bottom of the first. Capps, who had a huge day at the plate with three hits and three runs scored, sparked the rally with a one-out triple. Fentress followed with an RBI double. Peterson later added an RBI single, but WC South short-circuited the inning on the base paths by giving up one out on a play at the plate and another on a throw back to third after some over aggressive base running.

“We made some boneheaded mistakes at the beginning, but nerves may have been a factor,” Price said. “We’re an aggressive team. We like to run the bases.”

Page, who gave up only four hits and a walk while striking out eight, did surrender one run in the top of the third as Ashland got back within 2-1.

WC South answered right back in the bottom of the third. Page led off with a double and Capps followed with an RBI double.

“Justin was in a zone today,” Price said. “When Justin Capps is in his zone, watch out. He hit the ball hard today.”

WC South got another run in when Noah Rowland’s grounder was misplayed by Ashland to push the lead to 4-1.

Then came the fourth.

In addition to Capps’ big day at the plate, Page was 2-for-3 with a double and scored two runs. Fentress also had two hits including a double, scored three runs and drove in one. Marr added a 2-for-2 day for WC South, which cut short its postgame photo session to rush over to the the 11-12 state championship to cheer on Bowling Green East for the final inning.

“We allowed four runs this entire tournament,” Price said. “It was just awesome.”

Ashland 001 0 – 1 4 4

WC South 202 7 – 11 13 0

WP – Page. LP – Long.{&end}

– Follow sports editor Jeff Nations on Twitter @Jeff_NationsBG or visit bgdailynews.com.

1
0
0
0
1

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.