HUNTINGTON — A Barboursville team once again captured a West Virginia Little League District 1 championship after the 8-10-year-old all-stars rallied past Huntington for a 10-7 win Thursday at Vinson Little League field.
Tucker Adkins was 3 for 4 at the plate for Barboursville and doubled in both the fourth and fifth innings to lead Barboursville back from a 6-3 deficit. His fourth inning double to center field scored Brayden McDowell and Hunter Workman to pull Barboursville to within 6-5. Adkins scored one batter later to tie the game at 6-6.
Barboursville pushed two more runs across in the fifth inning with two outs to take an 8-6 lead when Adkins belted another double, this time to left field, that scored another two runs and gave Barboursville a 10-6 lead before Huntington escaped the inning. Adkins finished with five runs batted in.
"I just had a hot bat," said Adkins, who was given the game ball by his coach, Wally Goad, after he circled the field with his teammates holding the championship banner.
"It's the kids. They fought for it. They practiced since March of this year and this group of boys are special boys," Goad said.
Barboursville Little League had been selected as the host field in this year's state tournament for the 8-10-year-old age group giving the Pirates home field advantage when pool play begins July 5.
Despite the loss, that tournament could still include Huntington.
Huntington coach Matt White's team will entertain the winner of Thursday's consolation semifinal featuring Milton and Vinson, which was played immediately following the conclusion of the championship game. In what would be Game 10 of the tournament, Huntington will meet the Milton-Vinson winner Friday at 6 p.m. at Huntington Little League at the Arch.
Huntington fell behind in the game early when Adkins singled in the first inning driving in Workman and then scored on a passed ball to give Barboursville a 2-0 lead. Workman singled home Cole Poynter in the second inning to make it 3-0.
However, Huntington stormed back in the top of the third inning when it scored six runs off two Pirates pitchers for a 6-3 lead. Huntington sent 12 batters to the plate that inning.
Courtesy runner Gabe Miller scored after three consecutive singles by Huntington to cut Barboursville's lead to 3-1. A bases loaded walk to Jack Garrett, a two-run single by Gavin Gilkerson and an RBI single by Ilias King capped a six-run inning that put Huntington on top 6-3.
Huntington however went quietly in the fourth and fifth against Barboursville pitcher Jacob Courts who moved to the mound from shortstop with one out in the third inning. Courts allowed one run in the third inning and one in the sixth that set the final score. Courts struck out five in 3 2/3 innings while giving up just three hits.
Huntington left the bases loaded in the sixth when Courts struck out the final two batters to seal the victory.
HUNTINGTON 006 001 - 7 8 2
BARBOURSVILLE 210 34 x - 10 13 2
WP - Courts.