Middlesboro 11-12s advance to districts

Published 6:57 pm Monday, July 2, 2018

After a weekend-long battle in the area little league tournament, teams are beginning to separate themselves from the pack. Middlesboro 11-12s eased their way to the area championship to secure their spot in the district tournament. Pineville-Bell is up for elimination after losing in the opening round to Middlesboro.

June 30

Pineville-Bell vs. Middlesboro

For two innings, Pineville-Bell stayed within reaching distance of Middlesboro. Pineville-Bell lost momentum in the third allowing four runs en route to a 13-2 loss.

With the victory, Middlesboro advanced to the 11-12 area championship. Pineville moved to the loser’s bracket and was up for elimination on Monday.

After being walked from the lead-off position, Riley Justice scored on a passed ball to give Middlesboro a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Pineville-Bell knotted the game up at 1-1 in the second inning when Seth Burchel scored a run after being walked.

The Middlesboro All-Stars began finding a rhythm in the third inning. Justice, Case Bayless, Kamron Wilson and Camron Mink each reached home plate to grab a 5-1 lead. Bayless and Mink finished the inning with singles during that stretch.

Nashawn Brooks added a run in the fourth to balloon the Middlesboro lead to 6-1.

Middlesboro went on a seven-run rally in the fifth to widen the margin to 13-1. Pineville-Bell’s Blake Burnett scored a run in the bottom half of the fifth to bring the final deficit to 11 runs.

July 1

Middlesboro vs. Knox County

Knox County met a similar fate as Pineville-Bell during the area championship game. Middlesboro used a six-run rally in the second to coast to an 11-1 victory and the area little league title. The win secured Middlesboro’s spot in the district tournament.

After a silent first inning, Middlesboro came alive in the second to grab a 6-0 lead. Zack Liford cut the deficit to five scoring on an RBI single by Jason Collins to narrow Middlesboro’s lead to 6-1.

Runs by Isaac Brown and Joseph Killion increased the Middlesboro lead to 8-1 in the third. Landon Allen, Hayden Blakley and Riley Justice scored runs in the fifth to secure the 10-run victory.