SCIENCE HILL - After building an early large lead, the Pulaski County Little League 9&10 year-old All-Stars had to fight off Clay County, 10-9, for the Area 1 Little League title on Friday night.
Pulaski County scored six runs in the first inning and three more in the second frame to take the early 9-3 lead, but Clay County chipped away at that lead by scoring three runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth.
However, the local All-Stars scored a lone run in the home half of the fifth inning when Brendon Dick scored off a Miles Strunk infield hit, which ended up being the winning margin in the Area 1 Little League championship game.
Pulaski County collected five hits on the night, but were able to take advantage of the Clay County's miscues - which included five walked Pulaski batters, three fielding errors and one hit batter.
Pulaski County's Konner Casada got the starting nod on the mound to pick up the pitching win for the local All-Stars. Casada worked 3.2 innings and struck out six batters. At the plate, Casada hit a double and scored a run.
The bulk of Pulaski's scoring came in the opening inning where they sent 11 batters to the plate, drew four walks and scored six runs. Casada scored the first run of the game when he came home on a wild pitch. Conner Burton reached base on a Clay County error to score Miles Strunk. Gunner Strunk hit an RBI ground out to score Brody Coleman. Burton scored on a double-steal play that was initiated by Leland Hughes stealing second base. Hughes and Layne Woster both scored off wild pitches to close out the Pulaski County scoring in the opening frame.
After Clay County scored a run in the top of the first and two more in the second, Pulaski County countered with three more runs in the bottom of the second inning. Hughes hit an infield single to score Coleman. Woster grounded out to bring home Burton. And for the second time in two innings, Hughes scored on a wild pitch.
Neither team scored in the third or fourth innings, until Clay County exploded for three runs in the fifth. Pulaski County scored a run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 10-6 lead. Clay County put together a three-run rally in the top of the last inning, but Pulaski County closing pitcher Brendon Dick was able to finish the game out for the win.
For Pulaski County, Leland Hughes, Conner Burton and Brody Coleman scored two runs each. Gunner Strunk, Leland Hughes and Layne Woster drove in one run each for the local All-Stars.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.