Barboursville wins twice to earn berth in semifinal
HUNTINGTON — Barboursville fought its way into the semifinals of the West Virginia Little League Baseball Major League state tournament Tuesday with an 8-1 victory against Man and a 6-3 come-from-behind win over Charleston Central.
Man and Charleston Central were eliminated by their losses while Barboursville joins Bi-State, Jefferson County and Fairmont in Wednesday’s semifinals at the Huntington Little League at the Arch fields. The semifinal matchups are Bi-State against Fairmont at 5:30 p.m. and Barboursville against Jefferson County at 8 p.m. The championship game Thursday, at a time to be announced, puts a team into the Southeast Regional (Aug. 3-8) in Warner Robins, Georgia. The regional winner goes to the Little League World Series (Aug. 16-26) in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Jack Eastone led Barboursville offensively against Man with two home runs, including a first-inning grand slam that was all the Pirates needed. Eastone finished the first game 3 for 3 with two homers, one single and six RBIs.
Eastone then led Barboursville from the pitcher’s mound in helping his team rally to defeat Charleston Central. Eastone replaced Evan Akers in the second inning.
Charleston Central struck in the top of the first with back-to-back doubles by Abe Fen-wick and Braden Chipps that produced the first run of the game. Sheldon Golden then hit a two-run homer for a 3-0 lead before Barboursville had come to the plate.
Barboursville began chipping away in the bottom of the first inning with one run by Cooper Cummings, who scored on a wild pitch. An RBI single by Bryce Alfrey cut the Charleston Central lead to one.
In the bottom of the third inning, Cummings hit a solo homer that tied the game 3-3. Barboursville continued the assault in the bottom of the fourth inning with three runs to take a 6-3 lead.
Fenwick started the game on the mound for Charleston Central and limited the Barboursville offense early, but the game got away from him in the fourth inning. Fenwick got Jared Nethercutt to ground out to start the half inning. Griffin Dempsey singled, Trevor Lingenfelter walked and Ethan Blackburn singled to load the bases.
Carson Carter walked to score Lingenfelter and Charleston Central manager Butch Giacomo replaced Fenwick with Sheldon Golden. East-one’s RBI single knocked in Blackburn.
Fairmont also played twice Tuesday, first eliminating Summersville 3-2 in seven innings when Sammy Viani singled home Brody Whitehair in the bottom of the seventh inning to walk away with the victory. Whitehair homered in the second game of the day to help Fairmont to a big lead in an 8-4 defeat of Bridgeport.