HUNTINGTON — The Ona-Milton 9-11 year-old Little League baseball All-Stars hit their way past Fairmont on Tuesday to earn a 14-0 win in the elimination bracket finale at Jerry Straub Stadium.
Scott Ballou, one of the two coaches for OMLL, said his players found a small, plastic toy figurine resting in the first base dugout it occupied on Saturday. They defeated Mountaineer 10-0 and haven’t lost since.
“We named him Jobu,” said Ballou, referencing the figurine used by fictitious Cleveland Indians slugger Pedro Cerrano who believes the statue can cure his hitting woes in the movie "Major League."
After losing 16-7 to Jefferson County to open the tournament at Huntington Little League at the Arch on Friday, Ona-Milton has scored less than 10 runs in a game only once — when it edged Bridgeport 9-8 on Monday.
Whether Jobu is a real-life good luck charm for Ona-Milton or not, the team’s offense has certainly come to life as was evident from the 14 runs and 13 hits through the four-inning defeat of Fairmont.
Jake Asbury slugged a three-run home run, his fourth of the year, in the top of the first inning as OMLL took a 3-0 lead.
“That’s the most I ever had,” said Asbury of the three runs scored on the homer that was a no doubter over the left field fence.
Aside from the home run, Asbury singled twice and doubled in four at-bats.
That same inning, Jaxon Hymer added a two-run double that would make the score 6-0 by the time Fairmont got its first at-bat.
During the half inning OMLL sent 12 hitters to the plate and forced Fairmont to use three different pitchers.
RBIs by Hymer, Logan Shull and Bryson Simmons in the second inning put Ona-Milton ahead 9-0. The team would add a run in the third on a single by Brady Ballou, then tack on four runs in the top of the fourth.
Throughout the tournament, OMLL has shown that it’s not just one dimensional, either.
Starting pitcher Mason Wooten struck out three in the two innings he pitched on Tuesday while issuing two walks and allowing two hits. Wooten was the beneficiary of an unassisted double play by Shull who snared a line drive at first base then dove toward the bag to tag the base ahead of the runner.
Ballou pitched the third inning in relief and although he gave up one hit and walked a batter, Fairmont was unable to get any runs home.
A diving catch by center fielder Ayden Spence recorded the first out in the fourth while Brendon Gillenwater allowed a hit between two ground ball outs to end the game.
Ona-Milton advanced to a rematch with Jefferson at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Jerry Straub Stadium at Huntington Little League by the Arch.
Jefferson swept through the winner’s bracket, including a 5-4 defeat of Fairmont on Monday.
A win by OMLL would force a winner-take-all contest on Thursday at noon.
ONA/MILTON 631 4 — 14
FAIRMONT 000 0 — 0
WP — Wooten. HR — (O/M) Asbury.