HAVELOCK — A local Little League team has won the state championship for the 9-10 age group.
The East Surry squad won all four games at the state tournament here. Three were blowouts, but the final win was a nail-biter.
Over the past week, the East Surry team tore up every pitcher it faced. Over 24 innings, the team managed to plate a staggering 57 runs. That’s an average of better than two runs per every inning played.
On Saturday, the squad beat the Tarheel team 16-5. On Sunday, the team blasted Henderson County 19-0. On Tuesday, East beat North State 14-1, but in the double-elimination format, North State was still alive.
That team beat Bull City 14-0 to earn a rematch with East on Thursday.
The game was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. but didn’t get started until after 8 p.m., said Jeff Edmonds, whose son Brady was on the team.
“The kids all played well; they all had their moment,” said head coach Jay Boaz.
Offensively and defensively the boys played very well, the coach said. They always found a way to score runs in critical situations. That was some of the best baserunning they showed all season.
East went up 1-0 in the first inning, but North State roared back with four runs in their next at-bat.
The team clawed back to 4-3 then in the next inning, East got a runner on base before Boaz’s son Folger hit a two-run homer to gain the lead.
The lead changed hands a couple more times before East won the championship 8-6, said Boaz.
Tarheel and North State are both from Greenville, the coach noted. That area has a very strong Little League program with about 17 teams.
The coach said player Brett Clayton had a tremendous offensive showing all week.
The pitchers for the tournament were Folger Boaz, Luke Brown, Jordan Davis, Anothy Ayers and Daniel Creech.
The rest of the team consisted of Cooper Motsinger, Gabriel Harpe, Brady Edmonds, Will Jones, Luke Bowman, Brett Clayton, Connor Key, Matthew Keener. Boaz’s assistant coaches were Kevin Brown and Adam Key.
Since the tournament would take all week, the players and families rented two beachhouses a little ways south near Morehead City, said Edmonds.
East earned a spot in the championship tournament by winning a regional event two weeks ago. The team beat Southwest Forsyth to advance.
Next up, East Surry will compete in the super regional tournament in Greenville next weekend. This event brings together eight state champions from the Southeast area, from West Virginia down to Florida.
Jeff is the associate editor and can be reached at 415-4692.