LEWISBURG, W.Va. — Jesus Perdew hit a two-run home run to cap off the scoring for the Mineral County All-Stars in the sixth inning of the West Virginia Little League Special Games Tournament championship, then he struck out the side on 10 pitches in the bottom of the frame to capture the state title over the Ceredo-Kenova All-Stars Wednesday afternoon.
It was that kind of day for C-K, which suffered its only loss in the tournament Wednesday. An RBI single off the bat of Isaiah Saunders scored Harrison Riggs for the first run of the game, but Mineral County responded with a three-run second inning and wouldn’t surrender that lead.
Mineral County got great production from the the top four spots in the lineup, which tallied a combined 11 hits and 8 RBI in the win. Jaxson Hare, Blake Jacobs and Perdew each brought in insurance runs in the final inning and Lanson Ornsdorf went 4 for 5 with three singles and a ground-rule double.
After falling behind 5-1, C-K got back into the game when Brody Spencer notched a 2-RBI single in the top of the third inning. Saunders logged his ninth and 10th hits in four tournament games. Ceredo-Kenova sent nine batters to the plate in the frame but left the bases loaded when Perdew fanned Miguel Cain to end the threat.
Perdew pitched a complete game for Mineral County, allowing three runs, six hits, eight strikeouts and just one walk on 86 pitches.
The win avenged an earlier loss to C-K in the tournament when Mineral County fell 8-6 after two late home runs lifted Ceredo-Kenova to a victory. Mineral County, nicknamed the Blue Sombrero, advanced to the championship game by winning a pair of games in the elimination bracket, earning a rematch.
“That’s an experienced, athletic and mature team. To even get that win over them (on Sunday) is huge for our kids, league and community,” Ceredo-Kenova coach Colten Brumfield said of Mineral County, referencing the come-from-behind win earlier in the week.
“If we don’t win that game we probably don’t make it to today.”
A dropped third strike and a throwing error in the fifth inning allowed Mineral County to extend its lead back to four runs, before setting the final score by adding seven runs in the sixth inning.
“(Mineral County) did what we did all week. They competed and got themselves back into the game. We just couldn’t get it done today, but for some of these kids to end their Little League career in the state championship game after we thought we might not even get to play this year is special,” Brumfield added.
Though the title game was C-K’s only loss in the double-elimination tournament, there was no second game scheduled on Wednesday, making the title game a winner-take-all scenario as it switched to single-elimination for the championship game.
The West Virginia state champion Mineral County All-Stars will not have the chance to advance to any regional or national tournament this season because of cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Brumfield and general manager Parker Reyburn said the support from the community had everything to do with their success in Lewisburg, finishing as state runners-up for the first time in over a decade.
“Home was their motivation,” Brumfield said.
“They wanted this for the community more than anything.”