July 3, 2012 — Although they may have fallen behind early, the 11-year-old Grayson All-Stars showed heart by not giving up.
Last Friday night in Morehead, the 11-year-old Grayson All Stars fell shy of a potential late comeback against the Morehead 11-year-old All Stars, falling 9-2 in the opening-round game for both teams in the Kentucky District 11-year-old Little League baseball tournament.
Despite Morehead pitcher Dalton Brown picking up nine strikeouts in the contest, the boys from Grayson compiled six hits.
The good fortune in the batters box proved to be futile, with only two runs arising from the good fortune in the batters box.
After Grayson struggled to get on base on the top of the first, Morehead started its hot streak by scoring four times in the home half of the first.
Jacob Smith singled in David Kim for the first run, then stole second and scored on a single by Graham Stamper. Stamper and Matthew Gagliano, who also singled, both scored on errors by Grayson outfielders to account for the final two runs of the frame.
Grayson finally made paydirt when it reached the scoreboards in the top of the second inning board when Micah Adams smacked a tape-measure home run that bounced on the Morehead City Park access road and all the way out of the park area.
With the score 4-1, the Grayson All Stars rally ended prematurely due to strong fielding by Morehead.
The Morehead All Stars tacked on two more runs in the second inning when Ryan Mullen singled and scored on a double by Smith. Adam Mullen then scored on a Grayson error to give Morehead a 6-1 lead.
Trey Scott singled in Jacob Hensley for Grayson in the top of the third inning to cut the lead to 6-2, but Morehead pushed the lead out to 8-2 in the bottom frame of the inning. Gagliano opened the inning with a double and scored when Skyler Hanna reached on an error.
Hanna came in to score on a double by Brown. Smith scored the final run of the game in the fourth inning after he singled, moved to third on a single by Graham Stamper and crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
11-year-old Grayson All Stars Manager Bryan Scott said he felt his team’s play was a bit timid, but hopes they would be able to turn things around in last night’s consolation bracket, which took place after press time.
“I was disappointed about how we played Friday night,” Scott said. “I thought they played tentatively, and we just couldn't seem to shake the nerves. Hopefully tonight (last night) they can control their emotions, play with confidence and play how I know they can play. We just need to make the routine plays in the field and hit the ball the way we are capable and we'll give ourselves a chance to win.
Smith had three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs for Morehead. Gagliano and Stamper each had two hits.
Scott had two hits for Grayson and a run batted it. Adams’ solo home run was his team’s only extra base hit of the contest.
Morehead’s defensive stranglehold proved to be the difference, committing only one error in the final inning of the six-inning contest.