LCYBL Minors secure state berth

Published 2:47 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Lunenburg County Youth Baseball League (LCYBL) Minors All-Star team improved to 3-1 in the Keysville-based district tournament Monday, ensuring its spot in the Appomattox-hosted state tournament starting July 21.

It was with a 21-18 victory over the Dinwiddie Nationals All-Star team Monday that the LCYBL Minors secured a state berth and advanced to the final two in the District 5 Dixie Youth Baseball AAA Minor League All-Star Tournament.

LCYBL Minors Manager Gerald Hooton said he was not too surprised by his team qualifying for state-level play.

“Before these kids were ‘Lunenburg All-Stars,’ they had been coached very well from the Lunenburg coaches and umpires during regular season,” he said.

He added that he, Steve Gary, Brian King, Kevin Abernathy, Dee Hite, Major Ball, Derrick Hall, Timmy Hart and many others “just built upon that good foundation of coaching. The boys have put in a lot of hard work to get to the final game and the state tournament. We are very proud of them all.”

The LCYBL Minors trailed 8-5 after the first inning Monday and 16-5 after the second inning, but then they started to creep back into the game. The score was 16-7 after the third, 18-10 after the fourth and 18-12 after the fifth.

Key contriabutors to Monday’s victory included Hayden Gary, who led Lunenburg on offense, going 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, and he also provided strong defensive play behind the plate.

Logan King recorded three hits, two RBIs, four runs scored and five stolen bases. Rusty Hooton also had four runs scored, adding six stolen bases. Conner Abernathy had two hits, three runs scored and three stolen bases and Amarion Moore had two RBIs and three runs scored.

Ryan Allard also had two hits, three RBIs, two runs scored, two steals and on the mound, he threw 11 strikeouts and allowed no earned runs in four innings pitched.

As a team, Lunenburg stole a total of 25 bases.

On Sunday evening, the LCYBL Minors suffered a heart-breaking 23-22 loss to the Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association (PEFYA) All-Star team after being up by as many as 12 runs.

The day prior, Lunenburg got its first win against the Dinwiddie Nationals, with a 14-6 final score.

To open their tournament run Friday, the LCYBL Minors took a game that seemed to be trending in favor of the Blackstone All-Stars and upended it in the third inning on their way to a 19-7 blowout win.

Trailing 5-3 after the first inning and 7-3 after the second, the LCYBL Minors responded with 16 unanswered runs, including 11 in the third inning to win their inaugural game played this year.

Manager Hooton noted that his team began the third inning offensively with its first nine hitters, the best on the team, and he gave his players all the credit.

“Man, I didn’t do nothing,” he said. “The kids hit.”

Hooton also praised his assistant coaches for their impact on the players and the game.

Allard got the win on the mound, pitching in three innings and throwing seven strikeouts.

King led the LCYBL Minors with three hits to go with three RBIs and four runs scored. Allard had two hits, three runs scored, and he led the team with four RBIs. Abernathy added two hits, and Rusty Hooton scored three times.

The LCYBL Minors had 10 hits total for the game.

Manager Hooton was pleased with his team’s performance but was quick to add that “we can do better for sure.”

The LCYBL Minors faced the PEFYA All-Stars in the championship round Tuesday evening. With a victory, Lunenburg would play again Wednesday.