Majors All-Stars reach District 5 final

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, June 27, 2018

After falling in its opening contest, the Charlotte County Major League All-Star team has established momentum that has carried it all the way to the Dixie Youth Baseball Majors All-Star District 5 Tournament championship game and a state tournament berth.

Charlotte County Majors All-Star Ben Gibbs slides in to home Tuesday before Lunenburg County Majors All-Star Ryan Allard can tag him. Gibbs led his team on offense by going 4-for-5 in the contest.

The Charlotte County All-Stars (3-1) will play the Crewe-Burkeville All-Stars at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Lenhart Field in Victoria for the district title.

This is the first time the Charlotte County Majors All-Stars have qualified for the state tourney since 2013.

“To me, it’s a chance for these kids to have an opportunity of a lifetime,” Charlotte County Majors All-Stars Manager Gary Walker said.

To get to this point, the Charlotte County All-Star team had to face the Lunenburg County Youth Baseball League All-Stars three different times. The teams opened their runs in the Lunenburg-hosted tourney with a game that began Friday night and was delayed until Saturday afternoon due to inclement weather. Lunenburg ended up winning 4-2.

Charlotte County rebounded Sunday with a 17-4 rout of the Blackstone All-Stars.

On Monday, Walker’s team faced Lunenburg again, and Kanye Dailey hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning that gave Charlotte County a 6-5 victory.

This capped an impressive comeback effort after Lunenburg’s Seth Bishop hit a three-run homer to give his team a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Walker cited a variety of plays that contributed to the win.

“My pinch hitter walked up there and drove in a run, hit that ball; Dru Lee — got a big hit as a pinch hitter,” Walker said. “Cameron High, we pinch ran him. We got a hit, and he scored from second base. He’s fast — that’s what we’ve got him here for. Had a big play, Ben Gibbs made that little catch of that line drive at shortstop. (The hit) could have been a game-breaker.”

The manager also praised Austin Queensberry for playing a great game behind the plate, blocking a lot of pitches and showing remarkable hustle.

Gibbs was effective in a brief stint on the mound, while the team’s ace, Brayson Arrington, helped shoulder the rest of the load.

Arrington was unavailable to pitch Tuesday due to his pitch count, so Dailey was called upon to lead his team on the mound, and he did.

“Kanye hadn’t pitched a game like that all year, and we’ve been working on him in practice, bringing him along, bringing him along,” Walker said.

Dailey pitched five innings and threw four strikeouts. Gibbs faced the bottom of the lineup and threw two strikeouts.

On offense, Gibbs went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, Dailey went 2-for-5, including a two-run home run, and Arrington went 2-for-5.

“The kids hit the ball when we needed to,” Walker said, highlighting two bunts that led to runs.