Washington 13-U falls to Kinston/Lenoir
By By Ronnie Woodward, Sports Writer
The Washington 13-U All-Star team couldn’t manage the timely hits to advance to the championship game of the Junior Babe Ruth League District Six Tournament, held at the Susiegray McConnell Sports Complex.
Instead, Washington will have to fight through the loser’s bracket after falling to Kinston/Lenoir 4-0 Saturday night.
Washington threatened in the first, second and fifth innings, but Kinston/Lenior’s starting pitcher Matt Hinson shut the door each time.
Hinson pitched five scoreless innings, striking out seven and allowing only six hits.
Washington’s best chance to blemish Hinson came in the top of the second. With one out, Dylan Cutler and Ben Hudson singled, and Austin Mitchell reached on error to load the bases, but Hinson got the next two batters out, ending the Washington threat and keeping the score knotted at zero.
In the fifth, Washington’s Cameron Warren ignited a two-out rally that would come up just short. Warren singled, then stole second and third, but Hinson got Jimmy Hardison to groundout with runners on the corners, again ending a Washington threat.
Washington pitcher Michael Hollis started the game with a single, and Will Swain followed with a single of his own, but Hinson got the next three Washington batters out, striking out the last two.
Kinston/Lenoir used five singles in the third inning to score three runs, giving Hinson all the run support he would need.
Blake Lee, J.T. Williams and Chastin Radford each recorded singles to start the inning, and crafty baserunning by Williams, Radford and pinch-runner Korey Barnes would lead to the three runs scored.
Williams, Kinston/Lenoir’s shortstop, reached base in all four of his at-bats. Williams recorded a single, a double, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and scored a run in the third. Austin Smith of Kinston/Lenoir also recorded two hits in the game, going 2-for-3 with a RBI.
Forrest Hawkins managed Washington’s only extra-base hit of the game, hitting a double in the third. Washington’s other five hits were all singles.
Kinston/Lenoir added one run in the fifth when Smith drove in Evan Hill. Hill also came in to pitch for Hinson in the final inning, striking out one and allowing no hits to close out the game and vault Kinston/Lenior into Tuesday’s championship game with a 2-0 record in the tournament.
Washington will play in an elimination game Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., and will have to beat Kinston/Lenior Tuesday night at 8 p.m. and Wednesday night at 6 p.m. to capture the tournament championship.