GREENVILLE — East Surry Little League brought home the 9-10 title at this week’s Tournament of State Champions.
Not only did the East Surry team win a state title, but it became the first North Carolina team to win the super regional tournament for the 9-10 age group.
The local team won all three games in pool play and earned the top seed going into a Final Four-style championship.
East won in the semifinal to face Loudoun South National Little League of Loudoun County, Virginia. Both teams were 4-0 for the week when they met Wednesday morning.
East Surry won the game 5-2 with pitcher Luke Brown getting a save in the sixth inning.
After Folger Boaz pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first, the North Carolina champs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom half on Brown’s RBI triple.
Virginia tied the game with one of their own in the top of the third, but East Surry answered resoundingly in the bottom half.
The boys pushed three runs across for a commanding 4-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Loudoun scored once to narrow the margin to 4-2.
East pushed across a run in the bottom half as Brett Clayton doubled in Brady Edmonds who had singled earlier.
“This was a tremendous ball game that saw Virginia load the bases in the top of the sixth with one out before a hard line drive to pitcher Luke Brown turned into a double play to end the game,” said organizers in a game summary.
Luke Bowman had a double and a single in three trips to lead North Carolina. Eight other players had one hit apiece: Boaz (1-3), Brown (1-3, 3b, 2 RBI), Anthony Ayers (1-1), Edmonds (1-1), Brett Clayton (1-3), Connor Key (1-2), Jordan Davis (1-3) and Matthew Keener (1-1).
“Pitching was excellent in this game as Virginia’s Christian Carver went the distance (five innings) allowing only five runs (four earned) to a very potent North Carolina offense while allowing no walks,” said organizers.
Folger Boaz earned the win after going five innings. He allowed just four hits and two runs, while striking out seven.
If the boys were on an older team, such a tournament win could punch their ticket to the Little League World Series. However, for this group, winning the Tournament of State Champions is the highest honor they can earn.