Photos: Pulaski East wins district championship 7-5 over Blacksburg in Dixie Youth tournament
In the finals of the Dixie Youth District 3 Tournament on July 4, the game lived up to the hype of a championship-type game. Both teams traded big punches early and exchanged leads, and Pulaski prevailed to beat Blacksburg 7-5.
Pulaski wasted little time getting their potent offense started when they scored a run in the top of the first inning. After two outs, Trent Blankenship hit a homerun just over the outstretched arms of Blacksburg’s Grant Johnston to put Pulaski on the board.
Blacksburg was held scoreless in the bottom of the first, going three up and three down.
In the bottom of the second, Pulaski picked up two more runs to pull ahead 3-0. After an out, Zach Barker drew a walk, he moved to second on a balk, and then Braden Blevins hit a single. After a second out, Chris Remington hit a 2 RBI double to score Blevins and Barker. Thomas Anderson would draw a walk, but the Bruins were able to get the next batter out.
In the bottom of the second, Blacksburg would rally by scoring 5 runs to pull ahead 5-3. Craig Weaver led off with a single, and then Davis Roberson hit a bomb homerun to pull Blacksburg within one with a score of 3-2. Jacob Lucas kept the rally going with a double down the line, and then Wesley McCoy was hit by a pitch. After htting into a line-drive double play at first, creating two quick outs, Blacksburg’s Chris Wysocki hit an RBI single, scoring Lucas. Jared Wilbrun then hit a single, and on two Pulaski throwing errors, both Wyscocki and Wilbrun would come around to score. Wilbrun’s run was a close play at the plate. Pulaski retired the next Blacksburg player, and the score after two innings was 5-3.
Pulaski quickly responded by picking up three runs to regain the lead 6-5. Drew Mabry singled, and then leadoff batter Jordan Lytton singled. Alex Akers hit into a fielder’s choice, resulting in Mabry’s getting forced out at second base. Akers would steal second to get in scoring position, and then Trent Blankenship hit an RBI double to score Akers. Nathaniel Remington then hit a RBI single, scoring Blankenship. Blacksburg would retire the next two batters to end the threat.
Pitcher Trent Blankenship then entered the game for Pulaski, and he promptly retired nine out of 10 Blacksburg hitters, striking out three. Leadoff batter Jared Madigan hit a single in the fifth but was stranded on base.
Pulaski would add an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth after Alex Akers hit a single, advanced to second base on a fielder’s choice by Akers, and scored on an RBI double by Remington. The last four Pulaski hitters were retired consecutively.
Offensively, Pulaski pounded out 10 hits.
With the win, Pulaski East advances to the Dixie Youth State Tournament to represent District 3. The O-Zone State Tournament begins on Friday, July 13 in South Boston.
Blacksburg is the district runner-up, and with only three 12-year-olds, most of the team returns next year.
Christiansburg was named winner of the District 3 Sportsmanship Award.
– Submitted by Don Gresh
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