By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
The Knox County Little League All-Stars took one step closer to the state tournament, defeating the North Laurel All-Stars 9-1 in the finals of the winner’s bracket of the District 4 Tournament on Thursday.
Knox County was powered by a nearly flawless performance by pitcher Seth Bohl. Bohl held North Laurel to one run, while allowing only two hits and striking out seven of the 17 batters he faced.
“Our pitching was the key tonight. Seth Bohl pitched an awesome game for us tonight,” said Knox Coach Gary Bain. “When our pitching is on like it was tonight, we play much better baseball.”
After a scoreless first inning, Knox County struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the second. Tyler Warren and Blevin Campbell hit back-to-back singles to open the inning. After a bunt by Corey Bright turned into a North Laurel throwing error, Warren and Campbell both crossed home to give Knox a 2-0 lead.
Neither team found the scoreboard in the third inning, but that didn’t last long as Knox added seven runs in the top of the fourth. Connor Bain led off the inning with a single up the middle. Three batters later, Ethan Phipps drove two runs in with a double to center field.
Later in the inning, Bohl helped his own cause when he belted a three-run homer over the right field fence to give Knox a 9-0 cushion.
“Our game plan was to keep putting the ball in play, and make them make plays, and our kids did a good job of hitting the ball tonight,” said Bain. “We wanted to get on base as much as we can because they have a lot of big kids — a lot of good ball players.”
Landon Young scored the only run of the night for North Laurel, in the bottom of the fifth inning, but his team couldn’t seem to muster up any more than that, combining for just two hits and committing several errors in the field.
“I believe we had a little let down there to start with, and got our heads down, and it snowballed on us. We had strikeouts, no offense, and it just carried from defense to offense, and took us out of the game,” said North coach Lincoln Schott. “We were a little out of sync tonight. I don’t know what it was, but we didn’t show up to win. But, I think our kids will bounce back tomorrow night.”
Engle came in as relief for Bohl in the bottom of the sixth inning, and recorded the final three outs to seal the win for Knox, 9-1.
With the win, Knox advances to the championship game Saturday night.
By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
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