HUNTINGTON — Rain caused multiple delays on Saturday in the second slate of games in the 9-11 year-old Little League state tournament at Huntington Little League at the Arch.
Mineral County and Oceana, the first game of the day, was delayed twice because of rain showers along with thunder and lighting. Before the Jefferson-Hurricane contest, heavy rain fell resulting in that game being pushed to a 4 p.m. start.
Once underway, Hurricane became the second local team to fall to Jefferson, by a score of 4-2, moving the District 3 champions to the elimination bracket.
Jefferson scored its first run in the bottom of the first inning when leadoff hitter August Torre singled, then came home on a one-out single to left field by Andy Roberts.
Hurricane tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning when Drew Spolarich reached on a single. The shortstop and relief pitcher then scored on a Jefferson error that allowed Hurricane catcher Carter Borchers to reach first.
Jefferson, however, answered with three runs in the bottom of the third and never looked back.
Jefferson got a walk and two singles plus a sacrifice RBI to stretch its lead. Jacob Hutchinson’s RBI single in the third put JCLL in front for good.
In addition to his RBI single, Roberts was 2-for-3 at the plate and pitched in relief in the third inning. Robert struck out six hitters, including the side in the top of the sixth, to earn the win.
Hurricane trailed 4-1 coming into its final at bat and provided one of the more thrilling plays of the tournament.
Down to its final out, Hurricane had center fielder Colby Dixon lay down a bunt. Dixon’s placement of the bunt forced both Roberts and Jefferson catcher Damien Vogel to chase the ball.
The throw to first then sailed high over the first baseman’s head allowing Dixon to move to second. In an attempt to get him at second, Jefferson’s defenders also sailed that throw high and into left field.
Dixon rounded third and slid into home beneath Vogel’s legs, ahead of the throw, for Hurricane’s second and final run.
Spolarich had both of Hurricane’s hits in the contest, both singles, and was also hit by a pitch.
With the win, Jefferson advanced to play Bridgeport on Sunday following the Fairmont-Mineral County game.
Mineral County earned its second victory of the tournament on Saturday with a 15-0, three-inning defeat of Oceana Little League.
Mineral LL jumped on Oceana with an 11-0 lead after two innings then sealed the victory with four more runs in the third. Its two pitchers, Liam Buck and Caleb Kaufman, combined to no-hit Oceana.
There were two outs in the bottom of the third when Mineral scored the 15th and game-winning run.
With the victory Mineral advanced to meet Fairmont on Sunday in a game scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The loss was the first for Oceana and it moves to the elimination bracket where it will meet Ona/Milton on Sunday at 12:30.
OCEANA 0 0 0 — 0
MINERAL 5 6 4— 15
WP — Buck. HR — none.
HURRICANE 0 0 1 0 0 1 — 2
JEFFERSON 1 0 3 0 0 x — 4
WP — Roberts. HR — none.