By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
WILLIAMSBURG — The Knox County County 12-year-old All Stars got off on the right foot Tuesday, picking up a 4-0 win over Williamsburg in the opening game of the Area Tournament.
Tucker Holland homered in the first inning and came on in relief to shut down Williamsburg in the sixth to seal the victory.
After the win, Knox County coach Scott Payne said he was pleased with the win and said the important part was the fact his team is moving on.
“We came out and did what we had to do against a really good pitcher that Williamsburg threw at us,” Payne said. “Our guys got some runs early and our starter, Caleb Powers, was able to keep them off balance for a lot of the game.
“Williamsburg has a really good team and they've got some kids that we haven't seen yet, so you have to give credit to them,” he added. “Our kids played well and Tucker (Holland) was Tucker. He’s a great ballplayer and having him on our team is a huge advantage.”
On the Williamsburg side of things, head coach Jerry Croley said he was pleased with the way his team played against a team that has the majority of players returning from last year’s 11-year-old state championship team.
“This is a team that won the state title last year as 11 year-olds, so you have to be pleased after playing such a good game against them,” Croley said. “I know they may have lost a player here or there, but the nucleus is still there so this is going to be a tough team for anyone to beat.
“Our kids have been beaten before, so they'll just have to get up tomorrow and start all over and try to get a win for us,” he added. “You have to have a short memory in baseball and we’ll see how we handle that tomorrow.”
Knox County got on the scoreboard in the first inning when Holland connected with a two strike pitch, sending it over the left field fence to make the score 1-0.
Knox County added another run in the second inning when Powers reached via base on balls and came around to score to push the lead to 2-0.
Holland scored again in the third inning after he singled with two outs and came around to score on an RBI single by Powers to make the score, 3-0.
Knox County added one more run in the sixth inning when Kirkland Bryant led off the inning with a bunt single and came around to score on a base hit by Mitchell Buchanan.
The win sends Knox County to a showdown with the winner of the game between Middlesboro and Pineville/Bell, while Williamsburg awaits the loser of that game.