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Minors finish 2-2 in state tourney

The Lunenburg County Youth Baseball League (LCYBL) Minors all-star team fell 8-3 to the Rustburg All-Stars on July 16 during the 2019 Dixie Youth Baseball Minor League State Tournament in Bedford County, bringing the Lunenburg boys’ stellar summer run to a conclusion.

They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but Rustburg came back over the course of the game and held an 8-2 advantage in the sixth and final inning.

LCYBL Minors Manager Daylon Powell made a point to give credit to the Rustburg All-Stars.

“They played good defense,” he said. “I ain’t taking nothing from that team. They’re good ballplayers. They’ve got good coaching, good pitching. They hit the ball, made contact. I might have left the pitching in a little bit long this time. You can always second-guess what you chose to do. I switched what I do from one time to the next.”

Lunenburg finished with a 2-2 record in the state tourney. The boys opened with a 15-6 victory over the Prince George all-star team July 12, benefiting from 18 walks. After a bye July 13, the LCYBL All-Stars routed the Goochland all-star team 14-3 on July 14 before falling 7-6 to the Bedford Metro all-star team July 15.

“Our bats really struggled in this tournament, to be honest,” Powell said.

It was a contrast to the 2019 Dixie Youth Baseball Minor League District 5 Tournament, which the Lunenburg boys won with a 4-1 record.

“We played some good games, and we had a good run, so I really can’t complain,” Powell said. “I’m happy with the kids.”

Considering how he will remember the team, Powell said, “I love this group. I’ve coached them from the time they were babies. Since they were 5 years old, I’ve coached them. Somewhere along the line, I’ve coached them.”

He highlighted a couple of standouts, including Trevon Porter, who was named the batting champion of the state tourney with a .692 average.

The group will also be losing a key player moving forward.

“I’ve got one kid that we are going to miss, great kid, has been on my team the last two years in a row, I’ve coached him, and I’ve coached him all-stars the last two years in a row, is Ethan Blowers, and he’s leaving us for good to move to Richmond.”

Praising Blowers and Porter, Powell said, “Both of them are really, really, really strong athletes. We have a bunch of great athletes, but those two there, buddy, (if) they get down in the count, two strikes, I don’t worry about them — they’re coming through. … They’ve got a good way of controlling their nerves up to bat.”

Porter demonstrated this in his final at-bat during the sixth inning against Rustburg by getting a base hit despite the deficit on the scoreboard.