By STEVE CORNELIUS, CJ Sports Editor
After enduring nearly five hours of continuous back-to-back baseball games last night on the SKRECC Field at the Ward Correll Sports Complex, the Lake Cumberland Cal Ripken 9-year and under (9U) All-Stars came away with the District 5 championship title.
In a ‘best 2-out-of-3 game’ series against the All-Stars from Rockcastle County, Lake Cumberland squeaked out a 9-6 win and a 11-7 championship game win – which ended close to 11 p.m.
While leading from wire-to-wire in the opening game, the local all-stars had to come from behind in the second game to claim their district crown.
As the sky turned to a dark blue and the temperatures turned cool, the Lake Cumberland All-Stars found themselves down 6-4 through four innings of play in Game 2.
In the top of the fifth inning, Lake Cumberland’s Barek Williams singled to left field to drive home Logan Purcell, and Ian Maybrier drove in Bryson Dugger on an infield ground out, tying the score at 6-6. Then, Williams stole home to put LC up 7-6.
Rockcastle scored a run in the home half of the fifth to even the score at 7-7.
In the sixth inning, the LC All-Stars exploded for four more runs to take a comfortable 11-7 lead. Barak Williams, again, led the charge with a 2-RBI single through the infield scoring Ethan Cooper and Luke Atwood. Later in the inning, Logan Purcell scored from third off a passed ball and Williams scored after a Rockcastle errant throw back to the plate.
LC relief pitcher Logan Purcell closed out the game in the final inning to give the local all-stars a 11-7 win, and the district crown. Purcell gave up only one run in three innings of work and was the winning pitcher for the game.
In the first game, Lake Cumberland struck early scoring four runs in the first frame. Bryson Dugger singled to drive in Atwood. Then with bases loaded, Purcell and Dugger were both forced home on two separate walks. Then, Williams scored off a Rockcastle wild pitch.
In the second inning, Lake Cumberland expanded their lead to 6-2. Purcell and Williams both crossed the plate off two separate Rockcastle errant pitcher-catcher exchanges.
Rockcastle scored three runs in the top of the third inning to close Lake Cumberland’s lead to 6-5, but LC scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning for a little more breathing room. Williams hit a deep fly ball to center field that resulted in an inside-the-park homer. Next batter up, Nazario tripled and later scored off a wild pitch.
Both teams scored a run in the fifth inning. Lake Cumberland’s run came from Purcell who was forced in on a basses-loaded walk.
The 9-6 Lake Cumberland lead held up with relief pitcher Purcell on the mound, while starting pitcher Atwood was awarded the win.
With the District 5 championship win, the Lake Cumberland 9U All-Stars will advance to the Cal Ripken State Tournament in Scott County on July 17.
Lake Cumberland 9,
RC 2 0 3 0 1 0 – 6 4 1
LC 4 2 0 2 1 X -– 9 11 2
2B - Purcell.
3B - Nazario.
HR - Williams.
RBI - Dugger, Nazario 2, Cooper, Williams.
WP - Atwood.
Lake Cumberland 11, Rockcastle 7
LC 3 0 1 0 3 4 – 11 9 3
RC 2 0 4 0 1 0 – 7 8 2
3B - Maybrier.
RBI - Maybrier 3, Nazario, Williams 3.
WP - Purcell.