BARBOURSVILLE - Hurricane's hitting, pitching and defense took it far in the 10-under West Virginia Little League tournament but on Wednesday the team seemed to run out of gas as Jefferson County defeated it 14-5 at Barboursville Park to win the state championship.
Jefferson was dominant from the start taking a 6-0 lead in the first inning and, unlike Tuesday, protected that lead from a Hurricane rally.
Serf Guerra was 3-for-4 at the plate - all singles - and drove in two runs to spark his team's offense. The shortstop also helped Jefferson turn a double play in the field and assisted on the final out to help his team.
Guerra's first inning single drove in the first run of the game and was one of five hits in the opening frame for Jefferson. Mark Bundy's had a two-run double that inning then took the mound to start the first two innings on defense.
Bundy allowed one run and two hits to Hurricane which was otherwise silent offensively until Bundy was moved into the field after walking the first two hitters in the third inning.
That opened a small window for Hurricane to rally just as it did Tuesday in its 9-6 win that forced Wednesday's game.
The two runners Bundy walked, Ethan Stover and Judson Witt scored in the bottom of the third for Hurricane but a run for Jefferson in the second and three more in the top of the third had opened a 10-1 advantage.
Hurricane wasn't finished yet.
It cut the lead to 10-5 in the fourth inning after a one-out error by Jefferson that allowed Ryan Bowman to reach first. Then a walk to Tyler Baxter and consecutive singles by Stover and Witt cut the lead in half.
Hurricane's runs came off Jefferson's second pitcher of the game, Teagan Moulton, who did not allow any other runs.
Moulton got Hurricane's seven, eight and nine hitters in order in the fifth then turned its offense loose again in the fifth.
Lead-off hitter Johnny McCarthy reached on an error. As it did throughout the six-day tournament, Jefferson's speedy and aggressive base running put McCarthy at third for a RBI single by Guerra that hit the center field fence, stretching the lead to 11-5.
Three more runs in the sixth produced from the bottom of the Jefferson batting order set the final score with Hurricane down to its final three outs. Stover was the only Hurricane to reach base in the bottom of the sixth on an error. One batter later he was forced out at second base on a ground ball to Guerra.
"Our coach told us we have to get the pitcher's pitch counts up to get another pitcher in," Guerra said of a strategy that took advantage of Hurricane's limited number of pitchers after it had played four games in the previous three days.
Hurricane head coach Craig Coleman said he was proud of how his team battled through the eight-team tournament.
"They battled, they fought, they had a tough road throughout this whole thing," Coleman said.
While Little League International does not hold a World Series for the age group, it does sponsor a Tournament of State Champions in Greenville, North Carolina where Jefferson will represent the state July 19-24 in that tournament.
JEFFERSON 613 013 -- 14 12 1
HURRICANE 102 200 -- 5 6 1
WP -- Bundy.