Winchester rallies past Gallatin to reach state semis
ELIZABETHTON – Winchester Little League held on to capture a 6-5 victory Sunday over Gallatin to remain undefeated in the 7- and 8-year-old Coach Pitch State Tournament, advancing to a semifinal matchup tonight against Goodlettsville.
Winchester ended the weekend’s tournament action 2-0 at Carter County American Little League’s Jim Ensor Field, also downing Clarksville National 10-0 in the opening round, to garner the right to take on Gallatin, then advancing to play Goodlettsville.
Winchester fell behind early against Gallatin but rallied to the 6-5 win.
Back-to-back home runs by Mason Moore and Peyton Miller led a five-run fourth inning, and Winchester escaped with a close win.
The win puts Winchester into the semi-finals on Tuesday at 6 p.m. when it will play Goodletsville L.L, which defeated Madison Central on Saturday and Columbia American 13-11 on Sunday to advance as well.
DaShaun Reynolds drove home a run in the first inning as Winchester took a quick 1-0 lead after one inning was in the books.
Gallatin got that run back in the top of the second on an RBI hit by Cooper White and the team added four more in the top of the third.
“We took them to a movie and tried to keep them calm all day,” said manager John Henley. “But it’s hard to keep a 7 or 8 year old down for long.
“They came out sluggish but we talk to them all the time about adversity and things aren’t always going to go your way.”
Gallatin got four runs on five hits in the third to take a 5-1 lead.
In that inning Gallatin got a two-run double from Theron Lee and an inside the park home run from Clark Langley.
Winchester trailed by that margin after three innings, but in the top of the fourth, a pair of heads-up defensive plays sparked the teams’ rally in the fourth. White singled but was erased on a nice play by shortstop Shaimar Lyons who fielded a grounder and stepped on second for the force play.
The next batter hit a ball to Miller at first base. Miller was late getting to the bag for the force play, but he threw a strike to third where Moore applied the tag on the lead runner.
Winchester batters came to the plate with the dugout chanting, “Everybody scores, and everybody hits,” and the team did.
Chase Towry led off with a single, and Evan Lynch followed with a base hit as well to put runners on first and second.
Moore then hit a hard shot that skipped all the way to the fence in centerfield and all runners came across home plate to make it a 5-4 game.
Miller then picked on a pitch and sent it past the scoreboard in leftfield for a solo home run and the second of the day in this tournament.
Nick Bradley hit one for Columbia American in its 13-11 loss to Goodletsville while Miller’s tied the score at 5-5.
Lyons drove home the winning run, following singles by Reynolds and Andrew Fulmer.
“I think I’m more proud of them today than I was yesterday,” Henley said. “In the fourth inning they just turned it on and found a way to win a ballgame.”
with impressive victory
Great defense and some big hits helped propel Winchester’s 7-8 year old All-Stars to a 10-0 opening victory over Clarksville National in the State Tournament, played at Carter County American Little League’s Jim Ensor Field.
Clarksville managed just three hits to 14 for Winchester as the defense did a remarkable job of snagging some hard hit balls for outs.
“They came out focused and had their heads in the game,” Henley said. “They looked like they prepared well and all the hard work and practice paid off.”
Winchester scored five — the maximum allowable — in the last of the first with Evan Lynch singling with one out.
Mason Moore ripped a double to centerfield to bring Lynch around and Moore scored on an RBI hit by first baseman Payton Miller for a 2-0 lead.
Winchester continued its hot hitting with DaShaun Reynolds connecting on a double to make it a 3-0 lead and Andrew Fulmer’s infield hit put runners on first and second.
Shortstop Shaimar Lyons knocked home both runners with a hit to the base of the fence to make it a 5-0 game.
In the second, Eli Proctor singled and attempted to stretch the hit for two bases, but Miller threw him out at second with Lyons covering. Lantz Shirk then grounded back to the hill for the second out and Ethan Lee grounded to first to end the inning.
“I don’t know how much farther it will carry us, but it’s good to get the first one,” Henley said. “It’s all on them. They have all worked very hard to get here.”
Winchester didn’t score in the second and held Clarksville down once again in the top of the third with Lynch catching a pop fly off the bat of Weston Boyd.
Clarksville’s Will Wyles hit a fly ball to left that was caught by Cason Eslick and Fulmer snagged a line drive from Nick Ray to leave Clarksville frustrated once again.
In the last of the third, Winchester scored five more runs with Lynch’s ground ball plating Jack Santi who opened with a single. Moore and Miller then had back-to-back doubles to make it an 8-0 score.
Reynolds single brought home another run and Lyons double ended the scoring and the first game for Winchester.