Adkins leads Barboursville to District 1 title
BARBOURSVILLE -- Griffin Adkins was determined to have a terrific birthday.
So, he literally took it upon himself to ensure that for the second consecutive year.
Adkins finished 3-for-3 with an inside-the-park home run Monday and his Barboursville Little League Baseball 9-10 year-old All-Star teammates added plenty of offense as a birthday present in an 18-2 win over Milton in the District 1 tournament championship at Barboursville Community Park.
"It feels more special than usual because it's your birthday," Adkins said with a prize-winning smile on his face.
Barboursville earned an automatic berth in the 9-10 State Tournament, which will be hosted by Huntington's League 3, July 15-20.
Adkins is Barboursville's speedy leadoff hitter and went into the game having scored 12 of 16 times he batted in the leadoff spot. He scored all four times he batted Monday and led off the first two innings with singles that started run-scoring rallies to give pitcher Jason Perdue plenty of cushion.
"Getting the first hit is fun," Adkins said. "I like leadoff."
Behind Adkins and a solid offensive performance throughout the order, Barboursville was never threatened in the contest.
After jumping out to a 7-1 lead in the first two innings, Barboursville put the game away with an 11-run third inning, highlighted by Adkins' two-run, inside-the-park home run. Chad Heiner also had a pair of hits in the inning -- a double to start the onslaught and an RBI single in his second at-bat.
The offensive performance continued a strong District 1 Tournament for Barboursville, which outscored opponents 75-7 during its run to the title.
Barboursville was playing on its home field but was the visitor on the scoreboard following a pre-game coin flip.
Manager Dale Adkins -- Griffin's father -- said regardless of whether he wins the coin flip or not, his team likes being in the visitor spot and setting the tone at the plate.
"We've been taking the visitor spot a little more lately because it seems to relax them in the field. We've won the toss a few times and taken visitors," Dale Adkins said. "Normally, our pitching and defense carry us, but tonight it was the offense."
The move worked to perfection as Barboursville sent all nine batters to the plate after a two-out rally that produced a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Blake Tilley's double brought home Adkins to open the scoring and Casey Smith also had an RBI in the frame.
Milton threatened in the bottom of the first, but a nice defensive play at third base by Peyton Weekly cut down a lead runner after Milton had first and third with one out. Perdue then got a strikeout to get out of the jam.
Barboursville followed with a four-run second inning that featured a run-scoring double by Jayce Gould and an RBI single by Perdue.
Milton got on the board in the bottom of the frame when a single by Nolan Cyrus brought in Spencer Lyons, who accounted for Milton's other run in the third with an RBI double. Lyons was 2-for-2 in the contest.
Despite the disappointing loss, Milton still has a chance to punch its ticket to the state tournament Tuesday when they take on Ceredo-Kenova at 6:30 p.m. at Barboursville Park.
Ceredo-Kenova advanced to Tuesday's district runner-up matchup with a 16-11 come-from-behind win over East Huntington.
BARBOURSVILLE 34(11) 0 -- 18 14 1
MILTON 011 0 -- 2 5 0
Perdue and Tilley. Crank, Cain and Lowe, Kessler.
Hitting (B) Adkins 3-3, HR, 2 RBIs; Gould 2B, RBI; Perdue RBI; Carter 2-2, 2B; Tilley 2B, RBI; Smith 2-2; Heiner 2-3. (M) Lyons 2-2, 2B, RBI.