Barboursville wallops Madison, C-K falls to Fairmont
HUNTINGTON — Madison’s pitcher was Light. Barboursville’s hitters were heavy.
Cooper Cummings and Jack Eastone smashed back-to-back home runs off Austin Light in the first inning Monday afternoon to spark Barboursville to a 17-0 triumph over Madison in the Little League Baseball Major League (age 10-12) State Tournament at the Huntington Little League at the Arch field complex.
Just three batters into the game, Cummings drilled a two-run homer into a tree behind the left field fence to score Carson Carter ahead of him. Four pitches later, Eastone smashed a line drive three quarters of the way to the fence in left and outfielder Kaden Underwood lost the ball in the sun. The hard-hit ball bounced off of Underwood’s head and over the fence, off the same tree hit by Cummings’ shot for a home run to make it 3-0. Underwood fell to the grass and left the field under his own power to the applause of concerned fans.
Cummings blasted another home run, a two-run shot to right-center, in
Barboursville’s four-run second inning. A tall, strong 12-year-old right-handed hitter and shortstop/pitcher, Cummings said he has hit “five to seven” of his 32 home runs to the opposite field this season.
“The first one was a fast ball and the second was a curve,” Cummings said of the pitches he deposited over the fence.
Cummings’ first homer was a no doubter. “It felt good coming off the bat,” Cummings said. “I hit it on the sweet spot.”
His second homer was less of a sure thing off the bat.
“I didn’t think it was going out, so I was hustling down the line,” Cummings said. “Then I saw it go over the fence.”
Cummings also pitched 1.2 innings of relief in the three-inning, mercy rule-shortened contest and was the winning pitcher in relief of starter Evan Akers. Cummings provided some comic relief in the lopsided game when with every pitch his hat fell off until in the third inning he put on a bandana to control his thick hair that pushed his cap from his head.
Barboursville eliminated Madison from the tournament and advanced to Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. game vs. Man at the Arch. Man beat Greenbrier Central 13-2 in five innings Monday to earn a spot opposite Barboursville.
Man broke open a 4-2 game when Drake Veers hit a two-run home run in a four-run fifth-inning. Veers also was the winning pitcher.
Greenbrier Central, now eliminated, defeated Barboursville 3-2 on Friday in the tournament’s opening round. Knowing that Man beat Greenbrier Central likely will help Barboursville be motivated Tuesday.
“Our attitude today was not to take anybody lightly, because we did in the first game and we lost,” Cummings said. “That will be our attitude (Tuesday).”
Ceredo-Kenova’s game with Fairmont was moved to Mitch Stadium in C-K when Field 2 at the Arch was deemed too wet to play. The home-field advantage didn’t help as Fairmont won 10-0.
In other games, B-State defeated Charleston Central 11-3 to move on to Wednesday’s game vs. the victor from Tuesday’s 8 p.m. game featuring Charleston Central and the Barboursville/Man winner. For Bi-State, Dillon Ours went 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double and six runs batted in. Ours is the son of former West Virginia University and NFL player Wes Ours.
In other action, Summersville defeated Elkins 12-6. Summersville moves on to face Fairmont on Tuesday, with the winner of that game meeting Bridgeport, the loser of Monday’s late game featuring Bridgeport and Jefferson.
Caleb Fletcher was the star of Jefferson’s 10-6 victory over Bridgeport. Fletcher smacked a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs. Fletcher was also the winning pitcher.