Elkins jumped out to an early lead and then held on to defeat Taylor County 7-0 Sunday in the Babe Ruth 15-year-old state baseball tournament at Robin Harvey Field.
With the win, Elkins will square off at 8 p.m. today against the only other unbeaten team, Huntington Southeast, which defeated Harrison County 16-3.
Sunday's slate was in jeopardy after the heavens opened and turned the field into a quagmire. After the rains stopped, the grounds crew went to work and made the field playable after three hours for the two winner's bracket games. Two other games - Barbour County vs. Ceredo-Kenova and Beckley vs. Harrison County - were pushed back to this afternoon. Barbour County will take on C-K at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Beckley-Harrison County game at 3 p.m. The winners of those two games will tangle at 5:30 p.m.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
Cole Harlan struck out 10 Taylor County batters to help Elkins to a 7-0 win Sunday in the Babe Ruth 15-year-old state baseball tournament at Robin Harvey Field. The right-hander surrendered just three hits over seven innings to pick up the win on the mound.
Elkins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening inning, as Daniel Crawford singled and scored on Cole Harlan's double. Harlan later scored on Ryan Hoffman's infield single.
Crawford added a lone run for Elkins in the second, doubling and then stealing home when Taylor County catcher Justice Keener was forced to throw to first base to complete a strikeout.
Elkins added three more runs in the third inning, as Hoffman led off with a double and scored on Kole Hopwood's double. After Caleb Riggleman reached on an infield hit and Sam Ross sacrificed the runners to second and third, Crawford stroked a two-out single to bring home both Hopwood and Riggleman.
Harlan picked up the win on the mound, going the distance and surrendering just three hits and striking out 10. Travis Mayle suffered the loss for Taylor County, giving up 10 hits in seven innings and walking four. He struck out three.
"Cole threw a whale of a game, and the defense was there," Elkins manager Chris Broughton said. "The whole team stepped up."
Crawford led the Elkins' attack, going 4-for-4, scoring two runs and driving in two more.
Huffman and Riggleman both had two hits each.
Huntington SE 16, Harrison County 3
Huntington Southeast broke open a tight game with three runs in the fifth inning and then exploded for seven more in the seventh to cruise to a 16-3 victory over Harrison County Sunday.
Huntington SE scored three in the first inning, taking advantage of two Harrison County errors. But Harrison County battled back with a run in the second, as Josh West drove home Tanner Colley. Harrison tied the game in the third when Braeden Hurst scored on an outfielder's error, and Nate Fernandez scored on a wild pitch.
Hayden James gave Huntington the lead in the fourth, reaching on a fielder's choice and scoring on Kyle Chaffin's single.
Collin Damron's two-run single in the fifth inning sparked a three-run inning for Huntington SE, which added two more runs in the sixth.
Eleven batters came to the plate in the final inning, bringing in the remainder of Huntington SE's runs.
James, Damron and Myles Robertson each had two hits for Huntington SE. Ben Haikal picked up the win, giving up four hits and three runs in four innings.
Damron pitched scoreless ball in three innings of relief.
Harrison County was led offensively by Ty Wickline, who had two singles. Jacob Montgomery suffered the loss, despite giving up just three hits in four-plus innings.
He walked eight batters and struck out five.