BC rolls into Majors title game

Published 9:14 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2010

PORTSMOUTH — Bennett’s Creek made it four straight wins, all in must-win games, Tuesday evening with an 11-1 rout over Churchland in the District 6 Major League (ages 11-12) Tournament at Cradock Little League.

After dropping a 14-4 game versus Churchland in the opening round, BC has won over Olive Branch (16-5), Cavalier Manor (7-6) and Cradock (12-2). Behind a four-inning complete game on the mound by Matt Clark, BC completely turned the tables against Churchland to get to the finals against Charles Peete.

Since the opening loss against Churchland, just over a week ago, BC has quickly found a new approach at the plate said head coach Lance Kitchens.

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“The biggest difference is, in the first game we were a little nervous and we didn’t have a lot of plate discipline. We were swinging at a lot of bad pitches. We’ve been working in practice and that was the big difference tonight,” Kitchens said.

The best example was the top of the first inning. With patience at the plate, BC moved out to a 5-0 lead without so much as a hit.

Hunter Foster and Ben Dearborn, BC’s first two hitters, walked to set up the rally. A bases loaded walk to Keoni Broad put BC on the board. Two BC runs scored on wild pitches and the inning kept going with two outs thanks to two Churchland errors.

BC’s bats got going throughout the rest of the game, with BC scoring two runs in each of the next three frames. Michael Blevins doubled with a line drive into left field for an RBI and an 8-0 BC lead in the third inning. After Broad doubled to start the BC fourth, Kevin Tohak, a lefty, shot a hard grounder down the third-base line all the way to the corner for an RBI triple and a 10-1 BC lead.

Dearborn was 2-for-2 with a walk. He scored three runs, all on wild pitches. Broad was 2-for-2 with a walk, two runs and two RBI.

While BC’s offense kept putting lots of runs up, Clark was accurate and in control. Clark allowed four hits and struck out eight. More importantly to his coach, he allowed no walks, as well as no hit batters and only one wild pitch.

“He’s pitching with confidence. He threw only 63 pitches and no walks. That’s big. That’s a great start,” Kitchens said. Clark also pitched three shutout innings in BC’s win against Cavalier Manor.

Charles Peete reached the championship game through the winner’s bracket with a 2-0 record. BC needs to beat CP twice, on Wednesday and Thursday, to win the tournament.

Most teams making through five games just to get to the finals would be worried about fatigue and pitching depth. Kitchens feels good about the pitching he still has ready to go.

“We’ve still probably got about six kids who can go,” Kitchens said.

“It’s very exciting. The kids have worked hard, so coming out on the field and playing the way they have is great,” Kitchens said.