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HUNTINGTON — Ona-Milton Little League’s 9-11-year-old All-Stars were unable to avoid elimination on Wednesday as Jefferson County captured the state championship with a 10-5 win at Huntington Little League’s Jerry Straub Stadium.

Since it lost to Jefferson on Friday, Ona-Milton had won six straight games to keep its tournament championship hopes alive but was unable to come up with the timely hits and solid defense that propelled it since that loss.

JCLL, the District 6 runner-up, set the tone in the OMLL half of the first when shortstop Andy Roberts turned a double play. In the bottom of the first, seven of Jefferson’s hitters reached base as the team raced to a 5-0 lead.

That stretch included Damian Vogel and Brady Mathias drawing bases loaded walks while Owen Otterback singled in a run and an Ona-Milton error allowed two runs to score. Otterback, hitting seventh in the Jefferson batting order was 2 for 3 at the plate and led his team with two RBIs in the game.

Evan Yeager took the mound for Ona-Milton beginning in the second inning and managed to retire the Jefferson hitters in order, but his team was unable to score through the first four innings.

Meanwhile, Jefferson added single runs in each of the third and fourth innings to stretch its lead to 7-0.

In the fifth, Ona-Milton’s offense began to solve the pitching of Jefferson’s Brady Mathias.

Logan Shull drew a walk while Yeager and Mason Wooten each singled to drive in runs. Jake Asbury helped OMLL cut the lead to 7-3 with an RBI on a sacrifice fly.

Jefferson answered back, though, taking advantage of four Ona-Milton errors in the fifth to score three more runs for a 10-3 advantage.

OMLL attempted a rally in the fifth inning off Jefferson relief pitcher August Torre. Jaxon Hymer drew a leadoff walk followed by an RBI single from Shull. A pair of JCLL errors allowed Shull to score but Torre settled down, struck out the next two Ona-Milton hitters then got a line drive out to second base.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament of champions that would normally follow for the state champions was cancelled preventing Jefferson from testing its ability against competition from elsewhere in the country.

Ona-Milton’s run through the elimination bracket that included wins over Mountaineer 10-0, Oceana 16-0, Bridgeport 9-8, District 6 champion Mineral Co. 11-0 and Fairmont 14-0 surprised even its coaches.

“We’re just super-proud of these kids and the way they played,” coach Scott Ballou said. “They exceeded our expectations, and they have nothing to hang their heads about.”

Yeager and Shull each had two hits for Ona-Milton with Yeager also driving in a run. Yeager, Wooten, Asbury, and Brady Ballou each drove in runs for OMLL, but the team was held without an extra base hit for the only time in the tournament.

ONA-MILTON 000 032 — 5

JEFFERSON 501 13x — 10

WP — Brady Mathias. HR — None.{/div}{/div}

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