Minors are 2-1 in district tourney

Published 6:01 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Lunenburg County Youth Baseball League All-Stars enjoyed a 2-0 start to the Dixie Youth District 5 Minor League All-Star Tournament, but fell 24-2 to the Dinwiddie National All-Stars on Monday night in Victoria.

“That’s a tough game to take,” Lunenburg Manager Carl Ashworth said. “We didn’t have it, and they had the right stuff in every aspect of the game, so we came up short.”

Dinwiddie set the tone early with startlingly aggressive base-running that led to errors by the Lunenburg defense and routinely led to runs.

“It’s legal, but it’s very unusual what they’re doing,” Ashworth said. “I have seen it with other teams throughout the years, but it’ll always be like one team out of a whole tournament.”

An unusual habit Dinwiddie exhibited was having a batter who was just walked take off instantly for second upon reaching first.

“You’re not ready for it because you don’t practice (defending) it, and it showed tonight,” Ashworth said.

Dinwiddie took a 5-0 lead after the top of the first inning. Lunenburg responded with its only runs of the game in the bottom of the inning, but they came off of walks, and the inning ended with three runners still on.

In the second, Dinwiddie added one run, then eight in the third and 10 in the fourth with the mercy rule bringing the game to a conclusion.

Ashworth gave the Dinwiddie National All-Stars credit for good hitting, pitching and defense, but he said their base-running and trick plays, including fake bunts, “confused our guys and it made us not play up to the potential that we normally have because I think they just got upset. They didn’t know exactly what to do with the ball, and I think that just got us off our game. We’re going to see if we can’t give them a better one, though, down the road.”

Lunenburg certainly has shown itself capable of good baseball, as it defeated the Blackstone All-Stars 12-2 on Sunday and the Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association (PEFYA) All-Stars 13-3 on Saturday.

Against Blackstone, Lunenburg exploded on offense in the top of the sixth inning when it produced six of its runs.

For the game, Seth Bishop led Lunenburg with four runs batted in, while Trey Inman added three. Latrell Johnson led the team with three runs scored.

Through four innings, Lunenburg was holding small leads but struggling offensively.

“Pitching and defense got us to the time we could finally score,” Ashworth said.

Hunter Word pitched the last four innings of the game for Lunenburg and finished with five strikeouts. Maki Tucker pitched the first two innings and threw three strikeouts.

In Saturday’s win over PEFYA, Lunenburg scored seven runs in the fifth inning and again benefited from strong pitching.

In three innings, Ryan Allard threw threw 38 pitches, 25 of which were strikes, and he finished with five strikeouts. Tucker pitched the last three innings of the game and also did well, making strikes out of 23 of his 39 pitches. He finished with two strikeouts.

On offense, Tucker led his team with three RBIs, while Allard had two and Conner Mattox and Jordan Jackson had one apiece. Tucker, Mattox, Inman and Word each scored two runs.

Lunenburg was set to play the Charlotte County All-Stars in an elimination game on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Victoria.