The Elkin All-Star baseball team won the Western Region Championship in Carthage last weekend and are headed to the State Tournament, which starts Tuesday in Nash. The tournament was sponsored by the Statewide Athletic Committee (SWAC) of the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association.
The Elkin All-Stars team includes youth from Elkin’s two Minor League teams, the Mariners and Indians. There are three regions — East, Central, and West — and the top two teams from each region advance to the state tournament.
“This is a special group of boys who have come together to make up the 9- and 10-year-old Elkin all-star team. We traveled to Moore County on July 8-10 to participate in the Western North Carolina regional SWAC all-star tournament,” said Head Coach Lee Pardue. “This group of kids represented our community of Elkin extremely well. Not only did they win the championship but they did so without losing a game.”
The All-Stars played three games in the weekend-long tournament. The first game, Elkin played Northern Alamance on Friday night. Elkin had an 8-2 lead in the top of the second inning with no outs when a major thunderstorm rolled through and the game was delayed until Saturday morning. The All-Stars didn’t let the delay deter them from a victory, as they went on to win 13-2 in four innings.
The second game, Elkin came up against SGAA on Saturday afternoon. Elkin dominated the whole game as it won 17-3 in four innings. During the game, Maecyn Brooks smashed a hit to right center field to score two runs. Brooks was rounding third when SGAA’s catcher caught the ball and tried to tag Brooks out. Brooks saw an opportunity and took it, he leaped over the catcher and landed safe at home.
In the final game of the tournament, Elkin came up against Nothern Alamance once again. Alamace had found new life throughout the tournament and gave Elkin a run for the championship. The first inning ended with the game tied 3-3, but Elkin took the lead in the second inning by one run. In the third inning, Alamance found its way back and tied Elkin 6-6. The fourth inning saw Elkin take a 7-6 lead, then go on to take an 8-7 lead in the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth inning, Alamance had a runner on first with two outs. The runner tried to steal second, but Elkin’s defense came up big as Elkin’s catcher, Christian Brown, threw the ball to Dana Shaw to get the third out and give Elkin first place in the Western Region Tournament.
Overall Elkin’s pitching and fielding were strong. Pitcher Smith Ray threw the first three innings each game, and only walked one batter the whole tournament. Logan Norman also was strong as relief pitcher. The key, however, was Elkin’s excellent offense, getting batter after batter on base and scoring 38 runs in 13 innings.
“What (the team) has already accomplished is a pretty big deal and this has only happened a handful of times in the past,” said Pardue. “Now, they prepare to travel to Nash County on Thursday to compete with five other teams in hopes of bringing a state championship back home to Elkin. I couldn’t be more proud of these boys and Elkin should be very proud of them, too.”