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The 11- and 12-year-old Marion County Little League All-Star team made the trip to Prestonsburg to begin pool play in the 2012 state tournament Saturday. The team played pool play games Saturday night and Sunday night, and played the third pool play game last night. The locals were able to easily defeat Anderson County on Saturday, 10-0, and beat Fleming-Neon on Sunday, 6-2. These two wins guarantee the locals a semifinal game tonight, unless the locals lost last night by more than 15 runs to Knox County and Anderson County defeated Fleming-Neon by more than 15 runs.
Full results of the remainder of the state tournament will be in next week's issue.
Marion County 6, Fleming-Neon 2
The Marion County All-Stars played their second game of the Little League state tournament Sunday night, where they outlasted Fleming-Neon, 6-2, after another strong pitching performance.
In the top of the first inning, the locals were able to jump out to an early 1-0 lead after Luke Thomas reached on a fielder's choice, moved to third on a Dylan Bradshaw double, and scored when Travis Wiser grounded out. However, Fleming-Neon was able to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning, using two walks and a double. This double was the only hit that Cameron Nalley allowed in his three innings of work.
Neither team would score in the second inning of play, despite Kelly Mattingly drawing a walk and Ethan Spalding hitting a single. In the top of the third inning, Marion County was able to add to their lead, scoring one run to take a 2-1 lead. The locals used four singles, by Cameron Nalley, Luke Thomas, Travis Wiser, and Dalton Hammond to put the run across the scoreboard. In the bottom half of the inning, the defense was able to hold Fleming-Neon scoreless, going into the fourth inning with a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Marion County's offense would score two runs. Jacob Mattingly reached on an infield single, and Cameron Nalley hit an inside-the-park home run after the centerfielder made a diving attempt and the ball rolled to the fence. Nalley picked up two RBI and helped extend the local's lead to 4-1. Luke Thomas also added a single in the inning. Once again, in the bottom of the fourth inning, the local All-Stars were able to hold Fleming-Neon scoreless.
Marion County was able to add another run in the top of the fifth inning, with Travis Wiser belting a home run, his second of the tournament, to give the team a 5-1 lead. Jaron Morris added a single in the inning, but was stranded. Fleming-Neon would not score in the bottom half of the inning.
In the sixth and final inning, the locals picked up another run after Cameron Nalley reached on an error and scored on a Dylan Bradshaw double, giving Marion County a 6-1 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Fleming-Neon would score one run off of an error and a double, but that would not be enough as the local All-Stars held on for a 6-2 win.
Marion County had 12 hits as a team, with Cameron Nalley, Luke Thomas, Dylan Bradshaw, and Travis Wiser each contributing two hits in the win. Bradshaw had two doubles. Dalton Hammond, Jaron Morris, Jacob Mattingly and Ethan Spalding each added one hit.
Cameron Nalley recorded the win from the mound, while Luke Thomas was credited with a save.
Marion County 101 211 - 6
Fleming-Neon 100 001 - 2
Marion County 10, Anderson County 0
Marion County played their first game of the Little League state tournament Saturday, when they held Anderson County scoreless to win 10-0 in five innings.
In the top of the first inning, Marion County's defense was able to retire the first three Anderson County batters. Then, in the bottom of the first inning, the offense came alive for three runs, taking an early 3-0 lead. Cameron Nalley singled to get himself on base, and Dylan Bradshaw lined the ball over the center field fence for a two RBI home run. The next Marion County batter, Travis Wiser was able to homer in his at bat as well, making it back-to-back homers. In the top of the second, Marion County once again sat down the first three Anderson County batters. However, the locals couldn't score in the bottom half of the inning, not getting a runner on base.
In the top of the third inning, Anderson County was able to get one runner on base due to a walk, but the other three batters were struck out.
Marion County's offense came alive once again in the bottom of the third inning, scoring three more runs to take a 6-0 lead. Luke Thomas led off with a single, Bradshaw reached on an error, and Wiser walked to load the bases. Kelly Mattingly then had an RBI single and Jacob Mattingly had a two RBI single.
The fourth inning was much of the same, although Anderson County left the bases loaded. They took advantage of two errors and a walk.
In the bottom half of the inning, the locals put three more runs on the board, as Marion County loaded the bases as Dalton Hammond reached by an error, Cameron Nalley singled, and Thomas walked. Then the Anderson County pitcher walked Bradshaw, Wiser, and Jacob Mattingly, giving the All-Stars a 9-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, Bradshaw struck out the first Anderson County batter and then Luke Thomas came on in relief. Thomas walked his first batter, but struck out the next two.
In the bottom half, the locals were able to score the run they needed to win the game, using the 10-run rule. Logan Peterson walked, Hammond and Thomas were hit by pitches, and Ethan Spalding, who was running for Peterson, scored on a wild pitch.
The All-Stars collected eight hits as a team, with Cameron Nalley leading the way with two hits. Luke Thomas, Dylan Bradshaw, Travis Wiser, Jaron Morris, Kelly Mattingly, and Jacob Mattingly each added one hit in the win.
Dylan Bradshaw picked up the win from the mound, pitching four and a third innings, walking two batters and striking out seven. Luke Thomas finished the game, pitching 2/3 of an inning, walking one batter and striking out two.
Both pitchers combined for a no-hitter against Anderson County.
Anderson County 000 00x - 0
Marion County 303 31x -10