PRESTONSBURG The Russell-Flatwoods 12U All-Stars had a quality opponent on the ropes. Ashland’s 11U bunch evened up its record. Ashland’s 10U group couldn’t recover from a shaky start.
All three northeastern Kentucky 8- to 12-year-old baseball All-Star teams are well under way at the state tournament in Prestonsburg.
Russell faced a formidable foe that featured a 6-foot-3 left-hander on the mound to start. It led, 2-0, heading to the sixth inning. Eastern plated four runs in the final frame to hold off Russell, 4-2, on Saturday.
“I was real happy with the way we played,” said Russell manager Chris Mokas. “That was probably the best team in our bracket.”
Connor Thacker, Elijah Hankins, Hayden McGuire and Kyle Mokas all pitched — in that order — for Russell. Eastern drew a walk, grounded a single up the middle and then hit a “pretty good shot,” according to Chris Mokas, to center field to contribute to a key inning.
Eastern had just three hits. Russell tallied only two — from Mokas and Thacker. Russell packed the bases with one out in one inning, Mokas said, but it left the bags full.
Cooper McClelland had an RBI with a bases-loaded walk. Hankins scored on a passed ball. Hankins will pitch today.
Russell will take on North Floyd today at 3:30 p.m. It will encounter Corbin on Monday at 5 p.m.
Ashland’s 11U All-Stars fell to Eastern, 5-3, on Friday before bouncing back for a victory on Saturday, beating North Laurel, 8-5.
Manager Don Ashby was pleased to see the difference between the two contests.
“We had runners on, but couldn’t get any hits to get them in,” Ashby said of Friday. “(On Saturday), we were able to get key hits with men on base. Even if we didn’t get a hit, we put balls in play — like with a runner on third — to get the run in. ... We had better approaches at the plate.”
Maverick Ashby drove in a pair of runs in two separate at-bats. He had a double.
Isaac Leeper footed the rubber and lasted 4 1-3 innings before Brady Marushi closed it out.
Don Ashby said the bench players produced. Three of his four substitutes recorded a hit, he said.
“It was a true team effort,” he said.
Ashland will face Prestonsburg today at 6 p.m. Ashby said Jonah Arnett will get the ball. Maverick Ashby will be available in relief.
“I feel like if we come out, throw strikes and hit the ball, I think we’ll like the outcome,” Ashby said.
Don Ashby aims to save Marushi for a start against Owensboro on Monday.
Warren South handed Ashland’s 10U All-Stars a 5-0 defeat on Saturday. Manager Rob Lynch said luck was not remotely on their side.
“Every time we’d hit the ball, it was right at somebody,” Lynch said.
After falling behind, 2-0, in the first frame, River Lynch came up with a leadoff hit in the bottom half. It was Ashland’s lone hit of the day.
Lynch said Ashland left the bases loaded in the fourth as a strikeout and lineout halted the threat.
Jace Manning, Connor Flowers, Lynch and Aiden Pemberton pitched against Warren South.
“We came out with a little bit of nerves, but we ended up playing really good defense,” Lynch said.
Ashland 10Us will meet Hazard/Perry today at 11 a.m.
“If we just settle down and relax, I think we’ll be able to have a better outcome,” Lynch said. “We’ve got all our pitching intact, for the most part. We’ve just gotta hit the ball.”