While not the ending they had hoped for, the South Hill All-Stars put together a great run in the Virginia Babe Ruth 16-18 year-old state tournament finishing as the runner-up after falling 9-1 to Southwestern Youth on Tuesday night at Parker Park in the title round. South Hill finished the tournament with a 4-2 record and received an at-large invitation to the Southeast regional tournament in Hickory, NC.
The South Hill All-Stars made a few base running mistakes early in their game on Monday afternoon that proved to be costly in a 6-4 loss to Southwestern Youth in the Babe Ruth 16-18 year-old state tournament at Parker Park.
The loss dropped South Hill (3-1) into the loser’s bracket in the double-elimination tournament where they were scheduled to face Arlington (4-1) on Tuesday morning. South Hill needed a victory there and then two wins over Southwestern Youth in the championship round to capture the state crown and earn a bid to the regionals.
“We made a few mistakes on the base paths,” South Hill Manager Michael Greene said of the loss to Southwestern Youth.
The Lookouts got off to a great start in the top of the first, taking advantage of a single, a walk and a double to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Southwestern made it 3-0 with a two-out RBI single in the inning.
South Hill threated in the second inning when Brandon Rolfe and Chris Gray both reached after being hit by a pitch and Ethan Stanley walked. Southwestern got out of the inning with a pick-off and then got a line out and a strikeout to get out of the jam.
Southwestern scored two more runs in the third inning on an error and two doubles to take a 5-0 lead.
South Hill responded in the bottom of the third when Cameron Shook and CJ Cleaton both singled and scored on RBI singles by Jarrett Hamby and Rolfe. Gray followed with another single to cut the Southwestern lead to 5-4. Another base running error hurt the local team in the inning, however, as the Lookouts recorded a second pick-off.
South Hill got some good defense in the top of the sixth inning as shortstop Justin Clary made a nice catch on a line drive to record a double play and Shook made a nice catch in left field to get out of the inning.
In the bottom half of the inning, Ethan Stanley ripped a one-out double down the third base line and Jefferson Barmoy followed with a walk. The Southwestern pitcher buckled down, however, and recorded two straight strikeouts to leave both baserunners stranded.
The Lookouts took advantage of a lead-off double, a swinging bunt, and a throwing error to add another run in the top of the seventh for a 6-4 lead. South Hill went down in order in the bottom of the inning.
Jordan Wesson pitched well for South Hill, striking out five while scattering six hits and giving up three earned runs. Hamby pitched the final inning, allowing one hit and an unearned run.
Clary, Wesson, Hamby, Rolfe, Gray Stanley, Shook and Cleaton all had one hit apiece for South Hill in the game.
South Hill rallied from a 3-0 deficit to top Northern Fairfax 4-3 in 11 innings on Sunday morning in a winner’s bracket contest.
The local team trailed 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Ethan Stanley drew South Hill’s first walk of the game. First baseman Jefferson Barmoy then made the visitors pay when he connected with a fastball for a 2-run homer over the right field fence to cut the deficit to 3-2.
South Hill tied the score at three in the bottom of the sixth when Justin Clary walked, Jordan Wesson singled and Jarrett Hamby doubled to the fence to drive in a run.
The score stayed that away until the bottom of the 11th when Barmoy led off with an infield single, Justyn Hudson reached on a fielder’s choice, Cameron Shook drew a walk and Patrick Moss reached on an error to load the bases. Clary then drove in the winning run when the Northern Fairfax second baseman was unable to get a clean grip on the ball to throw to the first baseman and Hudson scored the game winner.
Northern Fairfax had scored one run in the second on two hits and two runs in the fifth on two errors and a hit.
Mason Mills got the start in the game and pitched well, allowing only one earned run while scattering six hits over five innings. Hudson earned the win in relief of Wesson, striking out seven and allowing only one hit over the last 4.2 innings.
Hamby and Barmoy led South Hill with two hits apiece while Wesson and Shook added one apiece.
Chris Gray pitched a gem for South Hill on Saturday morning, tossing six scoreless innings and Hamby came on in the seventh to complete the shutout and earn the save in a 1-0 victory over Nottoway.
Gray ran into trouble in the top of the first inning when Nottoway took advantage of two hits and a walk to load the bases with no outs.
Gray fought back to get a strikeout and two flyouts to get out of the jam.
South Hill threatened in the bottom of the first when Wesson and Hamby reached base on back-to-back singles but the Nottoway pitcher fought back to get a groundout and a strikeout to get out of trouble.
South Hill scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the sixth when catcher Brandon Rolfe walked, stole second, and came home on a RBI single by Gray.
Hamby put the game away in the seventh inning by recording a strikeout for the final out of the contest.
Gray allowed four hits while striking out three in earning the win. Hamby allowed one baserunner while striking out one.
Clary, Wesson, Hamby and Gray each had one hit apiece for South Hill in the game.
South Hill topped Greene County 9-4 on Friday evening in a first-round state contest.
The visitors took advantage of a leadoff double to score one run in the top of the first.
South Hill answered in the bottom of the third when Shook walked and Patrick Moss ripped a RBI single. Ethan Stanley followed with a double to score Moss. After a single by Clary, Wesson singled to score Stanley for a 3-1 lead.
South Hill scored one run in the fourth when Barmoy doubled and scored when Kyle Tanner reached on an error.
Greene scored two runs in the fifth inning by taking advantage of three hits and a walk.
South Hill answered with one run in the bottom of the fifth when Clary singled, Wesson doubled, and Hamby drove in a run with a RBI single.
The local team broke the game wide open in the sixth when Tanner singled, Moss singled and Stanley walked to load the bases. After Wesson reached on a fielder’s choice, Hamby was hit by a pitch to drive in a run and Rolfe doubled to clear the bases and drive in three runs.
Greene added one run in the bottom of the seventh to cut the final margin to 9-4.
Clary, Wesson and Moss had two hits apiece for South Hill while Hamby, Rolfe, Barmoy, Tanner, Gray and Stanley had one apiece.
Mills, Wesson, Hudson and Shook all saw mound time in the victory.