Scott County Youth Baseball’s tradition of winning state championships and advancing to regional competition throughout the midwest is alive and well.
The organization’s 11-year-old all-stars achieved that step with convincing wins in triplicate this past weekend at their home, Suffoletta Park.
SC got rolling Saturday with a pair of Saturday triumphs in pool play. It opened with an 18-4 rout of Harrison County before taking down Southeastern Cal Ripken of Lexington, 6-2, in the nightcap.
That earned Scott County the top seed in the elimination round, where Southeastern needed a 17-6 victory over Harrison County just to reach the final.
In the title game, SC surged to a 9-4 win and secured the championship.
Cal Ripken League’s 11-year-old tournament is separated into divisions by the distances between the bases and from the pitcher’s mound to home plate. Scott County won the 46/60 class.
Next up for the champions is a trip to Kokomo, Indiana, where it will compete in the Ohio Valley regional tournament from July 18 to 22.
Team members include Jaimen Caba, Gaven Cinnamon, Collier Curtis, Austin Davis, Colt Fields, Noah Habash, Jake Kearney, Chase Little, Matthew Randall, Will Rose, Garrett Sparks, Tyler Wands. Brad Wands is the head coach. Scott Little, Scott Fields and Michael Caba are his assistants.
Two up, one down for 10U
Scott County’s 10U all-stars went undefeated in pool play of their state tournament at Lexington’s Shillito Park.
Wins over Johnson County (6-3) and OVBA (16-0) put SC in a prime spot entering the elimination bracket.
The championship dreams ended there with an 11-4 loss to the eventual champion, Campbellsville.
In the win over Johnson County, Brayden Beckett and Braden Fannin led the charge with multiple hits.
Beckett went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Fannin was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases, a run and an RBI.
Westley Bucher belted a double to assist the onslaught. Cruz Lester and Eli Adkins each contributed a hit.
Mason Hamilton was the winning pitcher for Scott County. He worked the first three innings, allowing three hits and two runs (one earned). He struck out four and walked a pair.
Jaxson Thurmond picked up from there, allowing only one hit and no earned runs over the next two frames. Thurmond whiffed three to offset his lone walk.
Bucher closed it out in convincing fashion by striking out the side in the sixth.
Scott County overpowered OVBA and invoked the mercy rule after three innings. SC scored five runs out of the gate, added four in the second and etched the exclamation point with seven in the third.
It was a team effort throughout the lineup. Fannin scored three runs and drove in three. He was one of eight different Scott County players with at least one hit.
Lester was the lone repeat offender. He supplemented his 2-or-2 showing with two RBIs and a run scored.
Beckett blasted a home run, drove in a pair and scored one run. Thurmond ripped a double and crossed the plate twice.
Avery Gilbert matched the team high with three runs scored and added a hit to the parade. Ben Walker’s hit knocked in two runs. Bucher supplied a hit and a run.
Adkins didn’t have any “official” at bats, but he scored three runs as the result of twice being hit by a pitch and drawing a walk.
Deacon Cano also scored a run.
Adkins and Gilbert combined for the shutout on the mound. Adkins, SC’s starter, worked the first two frames and recorded all six outs on strikes. He walked a single batter and allowed one hit. Gilbert also surrendered a hit and struck out a pair in his relief inning.
Campbellsville broke open the elimination game with six runs in the bottom of the third inning to expand what was already a 4-3 lead.
Beckett bolstered Scott County once again, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Adkins delivered a double, drove in two and scored one.
Fannin furnished an RBI single. Lester also had a hit, while Ryson Baker notched a run.
Pitchers were Fannin and Bucher.
Lester led Scott County in the tournament with a lofty .667 batting average. Beckett and Fannin both finished at .500, with Adkins on their heels at .400.
12U tumbles in Lexington
Scott County’s 12U 70 combine fought hard but lost its pair of pool play games at Shillito Park to close out the season.
Jessamine County rolled to a 14-8 victory in the opener, while Campbellsville took a step toward its title with a 6-1 verdict.
Bryce Hebert (2-for-3, RBI, run) and Carson Payne (2-for-4, run) led a deep attack for SC against Jessamine.
Dustin Hoffman, Blake MacCallum and Michael Curtis each went 1-for-2. Hoffman scored two runs, while Curtis drove in a pair and MacCallum plated another.
Jack Willhite supplied both an RBI and a run scored. Caden Bays also knocked in a run. Landon Hamilton and Caden Howland each crossed the plate.
Hebert worked the first three innings on the hill for Scott County. He scattered four hits and gave up four runs with matching totals of two walks and two strikeouts.
Hoffman and MacCallum picked up the remainder of the pitching work.
Scott County owned a 5-2 lead before Jessamine County countered with six runs in the fourth and another half-dozen in the fifth.
Three SC runs in the sixth weren’t enough for what would have been a titanic comeback.
Against Campbellsville, Willhite and Ben Glenn belted the only hits for Scott County. Glenn’s was a double.
Campbeilsville hurlers Kearney and Skaggs combined for nine strikeouts to keep SC off-balance.
Willhite and Glenn also were the mound combination for Scott County. Willhite worked until one out in the fifth, allowing four hits. Glenn pitched shutout ball over the final 1 2/3 innings.
9U in two slugfests
Scott County came out on the wrong end of two high-scoring games in the 9U state tournament at Suffoletta Park. SC lost to Southeastern Lexington, 11-5, and dropped a wild 15-14 decision to Lake Cumberland.
Campbellsville ultimately walked away with the title in the 9-year-old division, outslugging South Lexington, 13-11.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at email@example.com.