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Halifax comes up short in bid for Little League crown

South Boston News / July 12, 2017
Alexandria rode a robust offense to the Virginia State Little League baseball Intermediate tournament crown Monday, defeating host Halifax County, 23-6, in Scottsburg.

Alexandria sealed the deal by slaughter rule. The visitors from Northern Virginia reached double figures in each game and had 21 or more runs in three of four wins. Collectively, Alexandria outscored its opposition 80-18.

Halifax County collected the state runner-up trophy.

Halifax had a fine run in its own right, recovering from an 8-4 loss to Virginia Beach in their opener on Friday.

From there, Halifax got past Fort Hunt 12-7 Saturday, followed by two wins on Sunday, shading Phoebus, 8-5, and then battering Atlee, 18-4.

From there, Halifax had to deal with Strasburg, easily defeating the visitors, 18-9, Monday morning.

That win put Halifax into the championship round with Alexandria.

Halifax took a brief lead on the potent Alexandria squad in Monday’s final.

Halifax County started well and led 4-1 after two innings. But Alexandria cranked it up to another level in the third inning, scoring 11 runs.

Alexandria added two more in the fourth and then put this game out of reach, scoring nine runs in the fifth.

Alexandria capitalized on home run prowess. The ballpark had compact dimensions and some of these strapping young athletes were able to take advantage of the short home run porch.

Alexandria belted 21 hits, seven home runs, including three in the third inning alone.

No. 5 hitter Kevin Dols delivered three homers in five at-bats.

Robbie Engelberg and Jack Kelly socked grand slams.

Halifax scored three runs in its first inning, and then added one run in the second and two in the third.

Daval Ballou cranked a three-run shot in the first, but then Halifax’s bats stayed relatively quiet through five.

Afterwards, Halifax coach Thomas Turbeville said, “bunch of good kids (representing this community.) …They’ve got a lot of experience and they enjoy playing. A number of them played on the middle school team, so they have some experience.”

Turbeville said it was very tough for Halifax to come out of the loser’s bracket.

Halifax had one bad inning in an 8-4 loss Friday to Virginia Beach.

Turbeville said the lack of pitching depth hampered Halifax.

“The team we played today,they hadn’t trailed all weekend in every game they played (until Monday). That’s a positive,” said Turbeville. “They’re a very good team. Well coached,” said Turbeville.

As far as pitching depth was concerned, the doubleheader Sunday put Halifax in a bind for Monday’s finale, Turbeville said.

Facing elimination, Halifax downed Phoebus and Atlee the previous day.

“The doubleheader yesterday kind of puts you in a bind for today ... We ended up burning pitching ... I still had pitching, but I really only had one of my studs left,” said Turbeville.

The loss to Virginia Beach also put Halifax in a bind. Halifax left 10 runners on base and left the bases loaded in the sixth with the tying run at the plate.

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