By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
OLDHAM COUNTY — In the end, North Laurel only needed one run to win the Senior League state championship.
North Laurel’s Austin Rudder led the game off getting hit by a pitch and advanced to second base on a Dylan Messer single and eventually scored on an RBI single by Ray Hays and that’s all North Laurel needed to pull out a 1-0 win over Richmond.
The state championship win advances North Laurel to Central Region play in Peru, Ill.
“This was great,” North Laurel coach Bill Abner said. “Our guys really played well the entire tournament. We will be sending a representative to the Central Region Tournament, but we might not have some of our players because of vacations being taken and football starting up.
“No matter which level you win a state championship at, it’s still big,” he added. “I won one with North Laurel as an assistant softball coach in 2001 and this was just as good. These guys have been playing ball together for 13 years and they have fought and worked hard to get to this point.”
The team won the District 4 championship as 12-year-olds and won the Junior League District 4 Tournament last year before finishing as state runner-up.
“This feels good,” Abner said. “I really thought we were going to score more runs, though. I thought we’d score around 10 because the pitcher Richmond threw was a junk-baller and I thought we’d overpower him, but we didn’t.
“We only had one more hit after the first inning,” he added. “The game lasted only one hour and 10 minutes, so both teams did a great job out there.”
North Laurel received another solid pitching effort from Hays, who pitched a complete game five-hit shut out. He struck out five batters and only walked two batters.
“Ray Hays was sensational out there,” Abner said. “I thought our pitching was what separated us from all the other teams. Hays and Messer did a great job on the mound for us.”
The trio of Hays, Messer and Rudder combined to collect 16 of North Laurel’s 26 hits during All-Star play.
“They really hit the ball well,” Abner said. “They carried us offensively. This was a good experience for everyone and now we’ll see what we can do at the Central Region Tournament. It begins on Aug. 3 and runs through Aug. 7.”
North Laurel captures Senior League All-Star State Title with 1-0 win
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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