Russell-Flatwoods bats provided some early fireworks in Little League action Wednesday night.
Sparked by long balls from Nathan Conley and Issac Jenkins, Russell-Flatwoods 10-11 year old All Stars put up some impressive offensive numbers to earn the District 6 championship by defeating Catlettsburg 20-4.
Russell-Flatwoods scored in double figures in each game during the tournament, tallying 55 runs in just three games.
The scoring barrage did not surprise coach Kevin Peterman.
"We've always been a good-hitting team," Peterman said. "This year is our best so far."
Jenkins also took the mound for Russell-Flatwoods. The young hurler turned in a stellar performance allowing six hits and striking out seven.
"I always expect Issac to come through," Peterman said. "He has always done that. He is one of our best pitchers and one of the best I have seen in Little League so far."
Before Jenkins could throw his first pitch, his teammates supplied some early run support in the form of seven first-inning runs.
Austin Watkins lined a double to the wall to lead off the game and came around to score on a Daniel Blanton single.
Ethan Sharpe followed with a two-RBI single and the frame was capped off with a two-run blast off the bat of Conley.
Jenkins coasted through the second as Russell-Flatwoods put up another seven runs in the third on run-scoring triples from Eric Williams and Curtis Davis. Logan Harrison added an RBI double.
Jenkins ran into trouble in the bottom of the third as Catlettsburg would not go down without a fight.
After consecutive walks, Ryan Ratliff smashed a single scoring Dylan Robinette and Cameron Gibson to get Catlettsburg on the board.
Later in the inning, Catlettsburg loaded the bases but Jenkins struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Russell-Flatwoods wasn't done adding six more in the final stanza. Singles by Watkins and Will Van Beneden helped load the bases. Blanton’s single cleared the bases and was followed by a towering home run from Jenkins to straightaway center field. Austin Compton singled and scored in the inning.
"Everyone has improved. They practice hard and give great effort," Peterman said. "We have been practicing two-a-days for the past two weeks and it is paying off."
Watkins came on to pitch the final out in the fourth and punch his team's ticket to the State Tournament.
Peterman's team played on that stage last year and he believes the experience will benefit his squad this time around.
RUSSELL-FLATWOODS 707 6 — 20 13 1
CATLETTSBURG 002 2 — 4 6 5
Jenkins, Watkins (4), and Campbell; Barnette, Wheatley (3), Alley (4), and Gibson. W—Jenkins. L—Barnette. 2B—Watkins (RF), Harrison (RF). 3B—Davis (RF), Williams (RF). HR—Conley (RF), Jenkins (RF).