Magic continues: Barboursville gets 9-3 win over C-K to advance
HUNTINGTON -- For four innings on Sunday evening, you couldn't have drawn up a more well-played Little League baseball game between a pair of rivals fighting to advance to the next stage in a quest for a state title.
There was leather being flashed, strikes being thrown and the occasional big slap of the aluminum bat.
Barboursville and Ceredo-Kenova were scoreless through four.
But then came the fifth, a frame that's getting dangerously close to straight-up being owned by the boys from Cabell County.
During Friday's first round of pool play in the age 9-10 Little League state tournament, Barboursville scored six runs in the fifth to erase a 8-3 deficit and steal a 9-8 win from Bridgeport.
On Sunday, that magic continued as Barboursville got all nine of its runs in the fifth to collect a 9-3 win over C-K to take Pool 4 and move onto Monday's quarterfinals.
Coach Dell Adkins' bunch will play Martinsburg at 8 p.m.
"I'd rather not wait until the fifth," Adkins joked. "Today, we were visitors and we love batting first and putting the pressure on the other team.
"(C-K starter) Cody Sharp pitched a whale of a game. A whale of a game. He kept us off-balance."
Not-so-coincidentally, it was when Sharp exited when things started to go tremendously in Barboursville's favor.
Sharp, a lefty who had managed to shutout one of the state's most explosive offensives through four innings, took a Hogan Carter liner off his shin early in the fifth, forcing him to leave.
Sharp probably was done at that point anyway because his pitch count was nearing the Little League limit, but just the way his departure happened might have put a damper on C-K, said coach Craig Brumfield.
After all, Barboursville piled up its nine runs shortly thereafter.
"Cody's one of our leaders," Brumfield said. "The kids see him go out. ... I think seeing him carried off the field kind of affected some of them.
"With 10-year-olds, it's either going to go one way or the other. They're either going to get fired up or they're going to get down."
Providing the biggest spark in the nine-run fifth for Barboursville was Chad Heiner who knocked a high, floating triple to right-center field to send two home. Jason Perdue and Nic Kuhn (two) also had RBIs in the frame.
C-K showed life in the bottom of the sixth, sending nine to the plate and getting three runs to come across.
But in the end, it's Barboursville who will carry the District 1 flag to the next level of this tournament.
"They have a kid who's hit either one or two home runs in the tournament," Adkins said of Martinsbug, his quarterfinal opponent. "They have good pitching, good athletes.
"It's going to be a battle."
Hurricane also won its pool by defeating Charleston Central 10-7 on Sunday. Its Monday quarterfinal game with Sophia is set for 5:30 p.m.
BARBOURSVILLE 000 090 -- 9 5 1
CEREDO-KENOVA 000 003 -- 3 4 3
Smith, Kuhn, Perdue, Adkins and Tilley. Cody Sharp, Hodge, Baumgardner and Akers.
Hitting: (B) Heiner 3B, 2 RBIs; Perdue 2-4, 2B, RBI; Carter 2B; Kuhn 2 RBIs. (C-K) Ferguson 2B; Baumgardner RBI.