Chocowinity 12U wins first district title

Published 5:41 pm Monday, July 17, 2017

EDENTON — Chocowinity’s 12U all stars have been raising the bar all summer long. They traveled to Jamesville a few weeks back to participate in a sort of tune-up tournament before districts, which were held in Washington and Edenton.

They won in Jamesville to become the first Chocowinity group to ever finish first in a tournament. Then, this past weekend, the all stars completed an undefeated run through District 7. They swept everyone in the Washington bracket to earn a trip to the final four in Edenton, where they topped Pocosin and Pitt County.

“To me, personally, this is a great accomplishment. This is all for the community. All the parents and all the coaches have been wonderful,” coach Justin Perkins said. He also expressed his appreciation of the coaching staff: Chris Hill, Stephen Gerard and Charlie Rose.

“It’s been a collective effort. Everyone has been great. It makes me proud of my community. It makes me proud of these kids. It gives them something to talk about for years to come. Even when they get old, they will always have the summer of 2017.”

Chocowinity players hang on the fence during an at bat this past weekend. Coach Justin Perkins lauded their chemistry and support of each other. (Chris Hill/Contributed)

Pitt County, a team Chocowinity had already defeated earlier in the tournament, stormed out to a 5-0 lead after two innings. Chocowinity notched a run in the third before erupting for nine in the fourth to take the lead for good in a 12-7 win. Jody Pierce and Walker Hill got the ball rolling with consecutive home runs.

That surge of power forced a pitching change from Pitt County. Omari Knight, Pierce and Hill all notched RBI singles, and Jamie Corprew pushed two across with a double.

Pierce and Corprew led Chocowinity with three hits apiece. Hill, Matthew Bullock, Shawn Gerard and Will Rose — who had a solo homer in the third — all had multiple hits, too.

Walker Hill throws a pitch to a Pitt County batter on Sunday. (Chris Hill/Contributed)

Bullock kept Pitt County off balance with his somewhat unorthodox pitching technique. In four innings on the bump, he conceded two runs on two hits and two walks. Hill started the game and went for two innings.

Chocowinity now advances to the Little Tar Heel League state championship in Williamston. The 12U all stars have gone further than any Chocowinity team before them.

Consistent play on offense and defense is what has brought Chocowinity this far. It has lost one game in two tournaments. In Edenton, Chocowinity dropped Pocosin, 11-1, before beating Pitt County twice. Chocowinity won the fist of those two games 14-11 before taking the championship, 12-7.

“Our defense played well when we needed to. It was basically our hitting,” Perkins said. “Our offense is really good. We have some really good offensive ball players. We’re a group that’s been together since 8U on up. We’re a close-knit group. We’re tied into each other. They’re very good teammates, and they play for each other.”

However things unfold in Williamston next week, this Chocowinity group has left a legacy nearly a half decade long. These players will continue to grow, develop and make an impact on diamonds statewide.