TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
PRESTONSBURG — Jason VanHook’s North Laurel 11-year-old All-Stars were facing a must-win situation Wednesday against Morgan County and they managed to come through with a win in a big way.
North Laurel scored three runs in the first inning, and followed with six runs in the second inning before putting the game away with three more runs in the third inning to knock off Morgan County, 12-0.
Now North Laurel will be back in action again today in Final Four action after seeing Campbellsville help them out against Prestonsburg Wednesday by scoring a run.
Both North Laurel and Prestonsburg entered Wednesday allowing the same amount of runs, which is a tie-breaker, and after Campbellsville scored a run against Prestonsburg during Wednesday’s nightcap, VanHook and his group of All-Stars found out they were going to advance to the Final Four.
“It’s nice,” VanHook said. “I thought we played well today, but I also thought we could have scored a bit more runs. We managed to score some early and that gave us some much needed breathing room.”
Cameron Cotton kept Morgan County’s batters in check at the plate by striking out the side in the first inning. He finished the game allowing only three hits, no earned runs while tossing three innings while Cole Kelley pitched a scoreless fourth inning for north Laurel.
North Laurel only had five hits in the win, but they managed to take advantage of five errors by Morgan County and eight walks during the win.
Colby Howard finished the game going 2-for-3 at the plate along with a triple and two RBIs.
Noah Rogers had a hit in the win and drove in two runs while Blaine Miller had a hit and an RBI. Tanner Bowling also drove in a run while Ty Baker had a double and two runs scored.
“We did what we needed to do to win,” VanHook said. “I thought we hit the ball well and did what we needed to do to score some runs.
“Cameron Cotton came in, pitching wise, and did a great job for us,” he added. “He’s not one of our normal rotation guys and neither is Cole Kelley, but they came out today and did what they needed to do. I am very proud of every one of them.”