C-K wins district, headed to state
HUNTINGTON -- When rain forced a stoppage in play Saturday between the age 9-10 all-star teams from Ceredo-Kenova and Barboursville, Wyatt Milum of the Wonders had just hit a three-run homer to put C-K up 7-6.
The Wonders were up 8-6 when the game was called at the League 3 facility in the top of the second inning.
Stretching the game out over two days didn't seem to have any effect on Milum, who hit three more homers at Vinson's field as C-K topped the Pirates, 18-11, to take the District 1 Little League title and a trip to state.
Over six innings, Milum was 4-5 with four home runs and 10 RBI.
"What he did today, I don't know if there's another 10-year-old in the country that could do that," head coach Craig Brumfield said.
Every home run was a towering, multiple-run shot, because catcher Hank Hinchman, who leads off the order in front of Milum, was also 4-5 at the plate.
"They couldn't walk Wyatt because Hank was always on base," Brumfield said. "Hank kind of gets lost in the shuffle a little bit because of (Milum), but Hank is unbelievable behind the plate throwing people out and he's getting hits."
With the extra day from Saturday's washout, C-K was also able to put Milum on the mound. The Wonders gave up six runs in the bottom of the first inning Saturday on no hits, with five walks and two errors.
Milum and his backing defense held the Pirates scoreless Sunday until Barboursville picked up two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
After hitting a three-run shot in the top of the sixth to put C-K up 18-8, Milum reached his pitching limit in the bottom half of the frame and had to turn the ball over to a new pitcher.
"Anytime you can get him on the mound, you want him on the mound," Brumfield said. "But we have other parts to this team. I wasn't worried after yesterday, because I know we're going to score runs. This is a team. He's a huge part of it, but it's a team."
Barboursville mounted a serious rally in its last at bat after a walk brought in a run, followed by a two-RBI single from Caleb Fraley.
With two on and two out, the Pirates attempted a steal, and Hinchman threw the runner out to end the game.
"It feels great as a coach to go back to state," Brumfield said. "This is our third year, and it seems to get a little sweeter each year."
He credited the team's success to the hard work of the players, saying they get up at 6 a.m. every morning to make batting practice at 7 a.m., and spend about five hours a day in practice.
"We work them hard, and we expect a lot out of them, and that's what you get," he said. "This is a great group of kids."
C-K lost in the state quarterfinals last year to eventual state champion Bridgeport, 5-3.
Barboursville still has a chance to make it to the state finals. The Pirates will play Mason County, which defeated Ona on Sunday, in a game at Vinson on Monday at 6:30 p.m. The winner goes on to state as the District 1 runner-up.
CEREDO-KENOVA 352 224 -- 18 12 4
BARBOURSVILLE 600 023 -- 11 5 9
Wellman (1), Milum, McKinney and Hinchman; Fetty (2/3), Wilson, Thompson, Foster, Vance and Thompson, Fetty.
Hitting: (C-K) Milum 4-5, 4 HR, 10 RBI, Hinchman 4-5, 5 runs, McKinney, HR, RBI, Burgess 2-4, 2B, RBI; (B) Fraley, 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI; Jimison, 2B, RBI.