Clarksville, TN – The Clarksville National Blue 9- and 10-year old All-Star team wrapped up its undefeated run through the District 9 Little League tournament, July 3rd, as they defeated the St. Bethlehem All-Stars, 7-4.
Finishing the tournament 4-0, Clarksville National Blue never trailed in the championship game getting out to a 6-0 lead after two inning – including a five-run outburst in the second inning.
“We got a great pitching performance from Logan Blackman to start the game and scored enough runs to hang on,” said Scott Samuels, who along with Patrick Miller and Brad Greathouse coached the Clarksville National Blue. “We’ve got a good defense and our pitching has been solid the whole tournament and tonight was another example where we got a good start and our relievers came in and held them in check.”Already leading 1-0, Clarksville National took advantage of three hits and two walks to score five times in the bottom of the second inning to take control of the game.
Connor Milligan opened the inning with a double down the right field line, which was followed by a walk to Blackman.
A wild pitch would move both runners into scoring position, with Ryan Murphy driving in Milligan with the first run of the inning with a ground out to second.
A walk to Scotty Carter and Connor Doughty loaded the bases bringing Patton Samuels to the plate with one out.
Samuels didn’t disappoint, as he doubled the Blue lead to 4-0 with a two-RBI single.
Collin Pedigo followed Samuels with a RBI double, while scored the fifth and final run of the inning on a wild pitch.
“We had that one big inning offensively, but it was our pitching that was the key,” Scott Samuels said. “We limited the other team with their hitting and we scratched out some runs when we had the chance.”
St. Bethlehem got on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning, scoring a run when Drew Gibbs was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
But that would be the only run they would muster in the inning, leaving the bases loaded for the second time in the game.
Clarksville National Blue would answer right back in the bottom of the inning, with an RBI single by Doughty to go up 7-1.
St. Bethlehem wouldn’t go away without a fight, as they scored twice in the fourth inning – on RBI singles by Dylan Kazee and Estin McBroom – and another run in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Brayden Daniels.
But that would be as close as St. Bethlehem would get, as Carter came in to pitch and struck out two of the first three batters he faced – including the second one coming with the bases loaded.
Clarksville National Blue will now advance to the Little League State Tournament in Goodlettsville, TN starting July 12th. Game time and opponent are yet to be determined.
“There are going to be some very good teams up a state (tournament),” Scott Samuels said. “I think we’ve got a good shot with our deep pitching and our hitting.
“We’re going to be in every game because I don’t see anyone going up there and blowing us out. We’re just going to go up there and battle and see what happens.”