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Babe Ruth 16-18 All-Stars conclude run

SoVaNow.com / July 24, 2019


The 16-18-year-old South Hill Babe Ruth All-Stars traveled to Hickory, N.C. to participate in the Babe Ruth Southeastern Regional Championships beginning on Wednesday, July 17 and lasting through Sunday, July 21. All games took place at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

The South Hill team, runners-up in the Virginia State Tournament, were awarded an at-large bid to compete in the regional tournament.

The regional championships featured a “pool” play format with eight teams split into two divisions, the American and the National, with South Hill slotted into the American Division.

The format called for the four teams with the best records in pool play to advance to single elimination bracket play after three games.

South Hill opened play against the All-Stars from Weddington, N.C. and gave them a thrashing, taking the victory 11-1. South Hill jumped out to an early lead after the bats came alive in the second inning. Chris Grey, Jefferson Barmoy and Cameron Shook all singled to lead off the side and then Mason Mills was hit by a pitch, putting him aboard and scoring a run. Justin Clary and Jordan Wesson both hit singles and then Jarrett Hamby lifted a sac fly to center for an RBI. Ethan Stanley drew a walk followed by South Hill catcher Brandon Rolfe who ripped a three-bagger to the outfield. Chris Grey, up for the second time in the inning, hit into a fielder’s choice scoring Rolfe and then Barmoy grounded out to end the side.

South Hill would add three more runs — one in the third, and two in the fifth — with Mason Mills, Justin Clary and Jordan Wesson crossing the plate. Mason Mills and Jordan Wesson shared the duties on the mound for South Hill, with Mills getting the start and Wesson closing it out as South Hill got the 11-1 win.

South Hill then advanced to the second round to face the Crystal Coast All-Stars and got the win, but it wasn’t easy. South Hill basically outlasted Crystal Coast for the victory.

South Hill scored five runs in the top of the second, putting Crystal Coast in a 5-0 hole. Crossing the plate for SH were Rolfe, Grey, Barmoy, Shook and Patrick Moss.

Crystal Coast answered with five runs of their own to get the score back to even in the top of the third.

South Hill took a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the third after Ethan Stanley drew a walk and scored on a B. Rolfe single to right center.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, the South Hill batters got busy and scored five more runs. Moss, Clary and Wesson all drew walks to load the bases for Hamby, who drilled a double to right field. Ethan Stanley reached on an error and later score the fifth run of the frame.

The two teams went into the fifth inning with South Hill leading 11-5. Crystal Coast scored three runs in the top of the fifth to cut the South Hill lead to 11-8. South Hill went three up, three down in the bottom of the fifth, but then returned the favor, forcing Crystal Coast into a three up, three down inning in the top of the sixth.

South Hill scored a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 13-8 lead, and it turned out to be the game winners.

Crystal Coast went into the top of the seventh needing five runs to tie the game and force South Hill into batting in the bottom of the inning. Fortunately for South Hill’s fans, Crystal Coast scored only three runs in the frame before stalling out. The final was 13-11, South Hill.

Cameron Shook got the start on the mound for South Hill and allowed five runs for a no-decision. Chris Grey came on in relief in the fourth inning, throwing 71 pitches and allowing six runs but getting the win.

South Hill went on to face WVAC Debary, FL — the eventual champion — and fell 7-0 to a talented squad. The highlight of the game for South Hill came in the seventh inning when catcher Brandon Rolfe belted a double to left center, but that was one of just four hits allowed by the Debary pitchers, R. Gonzalez and B. Burrios. South Hill’s other three hits were singles — two by J. Clary and one by E. Stanley.

With a 2-1 record, the South Hill All-Stars finished second in the American Division earning them a trip to bracket play where they would face their archrivals, the Southwestern Youth Lookouts of Fairfax County, Va., who had defeated South Hill twice to win the Virginia State Babe Ruth Tournament held earlier this month at Parker Park in South Hill.

In what proved to be the final game for South Hill in the tournament, the Southwestern Youth Lookouts jumped out to an early lead and South Hill wasn’t able to recover.

SWY scored two runs in the bottom of the second.

South Hill made it interesting in the top of the third when leadoff batter J. Clary Singled to right and then J. Wesson followed with another single to left, giving SH a pair of base runners for J. Hamby who ripped a two-run double to deep right to knot the score at 2-2.

SWY scored twice in the bottom of the third, pulling the lead out to 4-2.

South Hill drew closer in the bottom of the fifth. Clary and Wesson again led off with a pair of singles and then E. Stanley was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for B. Rolfe. Rolfe sent all the runners home with a clutch double to left, pulling South Hill back into contention with the game tied at 5-all.

The tie was short lived, however, as SWY scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, giving them the lead for good as South Hill was unable to get any more offense going.

The Lookouts of Fairfax County moved on to the championship game to face the Debary, FL team that had defeated South Hill earlier. While the Lookouts represented Virginia well, they, too, were no match for the kids from Florida. Debary got the 9-2 win to advance to the Babe Ruth World Series beginning July 31 in Mobile, Alabama.





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