July 6, 2012 — After winning two games over the weekend, the 11-year-old Morehead All Stars hit a bit of speed bump, in the form of a fiendish performance from a formidable foe.
The Morehead 11-year-old Little League All-Stars fell into the loser’s bracket of the Kentucky District 6 Tournament Wednesday evening at the city park, losing 16-5 to a red-hot Russell-Flatwoods squad.
Morehead was scheduled to play Grayson on Thursday evening, with the winner earning a spot opposite Russell-Flatwoods in the tournament’s championship round at 7 p.m. on Friday. Whichever team advances, it will have to defeat Russell-Flatwoods twice to advance to the state tournament.
Russell-Flatwoods, who was the visiting team in the contest, jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back. The big hits in the inning were a run-scoring triple by Josh Griffith and the first of two home runs by the winner’s starting pitcher, Noah Adams, this one a two-run shot.
Morehead got on the board in the home half of the first when Jacob Smith walked, moved to second on a fielder’s choice, stole third and scored on a throwing error.
Russell-Flatwoods took a 9-1 lead by adding three runs in the second inning and one more in the third. The third inning run came on Adams’ second homer of the game, this one a solo shot.
Ryan Mullen walked and Jacob Smith singled as the lead-off hitters for Morehead in the bottom of the third, and both came around to score on combination of stolen bases and wild pitches, cutting the Russell-Flatwoods lead to 9-3.
Each team added two runs in their respective halves of the fourth inning. Russell-Flatwoods got RBI hits from Greg Mershon and Trey Belcher. For Morehead, Dalton Brown scored on a wild pitch and Jeffrey Craft crossed the plate on a bases loaded walk. That ended the scoring for Morehead.
Russell-Flatwoods ended the game after five innings via the 10-run rule after scoring five times in the top of the fifth and holding Morehead scoreless in the bottom of the inning.
11-year-old Morehead All Stars Coach Jerry Mullen talked about what his team would have to do to right Wednesday’s wrongs.
“We’re going to try and split pitching duties between Ryan Mullen and Matt Gagliano,” Mullen said. “We are playing for tonight, we know we have to win this one to play tomorrow. Our morals have to stay high and we just need to play baseball.”
Adams picked up the win by pitching the first three innings, striking out nine. Morehead starter Dalton Brown lasted two innings and picked up the loss.
Despite the loss, Morehead’s boys live to fight another day, set for a rematch with Grayson tonight at 7 p.m. at Morehead City Park.