Little League All Stars make good showing
The Morgan County Little League 10 and 11 year old all star teams each advanced to the District 6 Tournament with impressive showings in the Area 1 Tournaments held last week. The 11 year old division of the Area 1 All Star Tournament was hosted by Morgan County for the first time in several years. In front of packed crowds at the 522 Ball Complex, the home team didn't disappoint their fans. The Morgan County 11 year olds dominated the local competition, defeating South Berkeley 17-2 in their opening game, and Hedgesville 13-3 in the tournament championship. Both games were stopped in the fourth inning due to the mercy rule.
Against South Berkeley, starting pitcher Preston Hovermale allowed only two hits and struck out six in the complete game victory. Morgan County pounded out 17 hits including a four for four performance by Jake Truax. Tyler Holt and Jared Spielman each had three hits and Scotty Hessler and Devin Kesecker added two hits each to round out an impressive offensive attack. Colin McPeak, Colton Ganoe and Hovermale all had hits in the game as well.
In the area championship game against Hedgesville, Jared Spielman took the mound and methodically struck out six batters on his way to a stunning no hit performance. Holt continued to swing a hot bat with another three for three outing, and Kyle Appel got on track with a two for three appearance, including a mammoth shot off the top of the fence with the bases loaded late in the first inning. Mike Kearney, Ganoe, Hovermale and Truax each had singles to help seal the win. The team now advances to the winners' bracket of the District 6 Tournament scheduled to begin July 7 at East Hardy.
The 10 year old bunch placed second in the area tournament, and will face a slightly tougher challenge playing Bi-State in the loser's bracket of the District 6 Tournament on July 7. They started off the Area 1 Tournament on fire with a thrilling 15-14 extra inning victory over Charles Town – Ranson. Brandon McCumbee, Ben Solomon and Brett Fultz each gave a solid performance from the mound in the victory. Fultz, Solomon, Jared Miller and Levi Barney all had two hits each, with a double from McCumbee and a triple from Josh Keefer.
Miller provided the heroics with a bases loaded single down the right field line in the bottom of the seventh to seal the deal. Brandon Stotler, Dalton Redick and Cameron Johnson each
had a hit in the game as well.
An impressive 17-8 win over Martinsburg the following night secured Morgan County a spot in the area championship game. Miller and Johnson teamed up for the solid pitching victory. McCumbee led the offensive attack with a three hit performance, followed by Solomon with two doubles. Fultz tacked on a single and a double, Barney added two hits, and Keefer had his second triple in two games to help secure the win. Farrett Lord, Levi Haines, Johnson and Miller all had hits in the Morgan County victory. Unfortuantely, Morgan County fell to a very solid Hedgesville team in the championship game 19-7, forcing them into the loser's bracket final against Jefferson County.
With one spot remaining in the District Tournament, starting pitcher Cameron Johnson held Jefferson to three runs in a very solid complete game effort, and the Morgan County bats pounded out 12 hits on their way to the 12-3 victory. Keefer led the Morgan County hit parade with two singles and a triple, his third of the tournament. Johnson and Fultz each tacked on a triple, and hits from Barney and Chris Kees rounded out a very solid offensive performance. As a team, Morgan County amassed 45 hits and scored a total of 51 runs over four games.