Charlotte Minors prove resilient

Published 12:17 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Charlotte County All-Star baseball team turned in a gritty performance on Monday to survive its first elimination game during the Dixie Youth District 5 Minor League All-Star Tournament in Victoria.

Charlotte used a big fifth inning to come back and beat the Blackstone All-Stars 7-5, eliminating them while improving to 2-1 in the tourney.

The victory came on the heels of a 16-5 Sunday loss to the Dinwiddie National All-Stars, who were undefeated through Monday night’s games.

Following his players’ win on Monday, Charlotte Manager Chris Tucker said, “They came back with a hard momentum drive. I’m wondering if that one loss isn’t fueling them.”

Charlotte took a 2-0 lead against Blackstone in the bottom of the first inning. Kanye Dailey batted the first run in with the bases loaded. Kaheim Dailey drove in the second run.

Blackstone tied the game in the third inning, and after Charlotte briefly regained the lead on a Camden Tucker RBI hit to left field in the fourth, Blackstone went up 5-3 in the fifth.

Undaunted, Charlotte responded with its most productive inning of the game, scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth.

“They kind of know that they have two options — either play or go home,” Tucker said.

During the fifth, Charlotte’s Noah Mayhew drove in Kanye Dailey, Brayson Arrington batted in Mayhew, Kaheim Dailey scored thanks to a hit by Jackson Walker and a bad throw to home and Tucker was walked with the bases loaded to make the score 7-5.

Tucker threw six strikeouts in 4.1 innings on the mound.

“He came in strong, started and he did very well,” Manager Tucker said. “He was calm. He wasn’t nervous. He was smiling. He was having a good time. All the rest of the guys were tuned in behind him. They were ready to go.”

Arrington finished the game out for Charlotte on the mound and ended the game on a strikeout.

Revisiting Sunday’s loss to Dinwiddie National, Tucker said his players “didn’t have much momentum. I don’t know whether maybe Dinwiddie just psyched them out being Dinwiddie or what it was, but they kind of took one to the chin last night.”

The Charlotte County All-Stars opened its play in the tournament with an 8-6 victory over the Crewe-Burkeville All- Stars in a Friday game that was stopped due to lightning and finished Saturday afternoon.

The boys once again used a four-run fifth inning to take the lead for good.

Though there were no home runs hit over the fence by Charlotte, Arrington reached home in one play on errors.

Charlotte’s defense was bolstered by three innings of pitching from Jaylin Gordon followed by two from Kaheim Dailey and one from Kanye Dailey.

Another elimination game awaited Charlotte on Tuesday evening as it took on the Lunenburg County All-Stars, which also had a 2-1 record in the tournament.