By Matt Myers
The Elizabethton National Little League has been a sports staple in our community for over 50 years.
Friday night, at the league’s complex in Elizabethton, youngsters from six to 12 years of age competed in America’s pastime together. Several local businesses such as: the Mayflower Restaurant, J’s Corner, Royston’s Auction, Beef O’ Brady’s, Friendship Hyundai and Blue Circle Deli sponsored teams this year from the Rookie to the Cal Ripken divisions. The action Friday was a great chance for kids from our community to come together, have fun, and ultimately learn about fundamental baseball together.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s captured a 20-2 victory over KFC in the night’s premiere matchup, which featured players in the 11- and 12-year old Cal Ripken division. Nick Hurley arose as the game’s offensive leader as the youngster went 3-for-4 with two homers and five RBIs. The stalwart’s two long-distance shots came in consecutive innings and spurred on a Beef O’Brady’s attack that would produce 20 runs.
Teammates Colton Miller, Evan Sewell and Jeremiah Johnson would all turn in solid hitting performances in the stout effort.
Ethan Eggleston emerged as the defensive leader for the green and black swarm as he garnered 8 Ks to spur on a defensive effort that was staggering as well. For three and a half of the game’s six innings, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s allowed no runs and only two singles.
KFC’s John Wesley Hardin and Eric Wilson both had solid outings despite the loss. Hardin’s RBI single in the bottom of the fourth was the first sign of life produced by the KFC team all afternoon.
Wilson was able to cross the plate as the hit was a solid knock to rightcenter, and it seemed momentarily that KFC would make a run at the hefty Beef ‘O’ Brady’s lead. That would not be the case, however, and the final score would remain frozen at 20-2 after the final at bat from KFC.
An 8U (“Rookies” division) doubleheader on one of the complex’s adjacent diamonds pitted Mayflower against IGA and J’s Corner against Royston’s Auction. The first game ended in a 4-4 tie, while J’s Corner captured an 11-3 victory in the night cap of the double header.
Blue Circle Deli captured an 8-2 victory over Friendship Hyundai in 10U (“Minors” division) action Friday night. The win allows the Blue Circle sponsored team to keep their hopes for a second undefeated season in a row intact.
Local sports legend Al King was honored Saturday at the Elizabethton National Little League Field. King has happily spent 45 years of his life within the local community of organized sports for young people. In his time at the Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton as well as the National Little League, Mr. King has coached, organized and most importantly inspired young people to engage each other in healthy, sportsmanlike competition.