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Josh Cain stepped into the batter’s box in the fifth inning of a game against Marion County last week with a trip to the 11-12-year-old Little League District 5 final at stake and gave his team a jolt.
Trailing 11-2 after two big innings by the road team, Cain smacked a grand slam to breathe life into Washington County’s tournament hopes. The blast was followed by another run in the sixth and final inning, and WC was able to load the bases, but the rally fell short in an 11-7 win for Marion County.
“We got down 11-2 and came back and had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the sixth,” said Russell Burkhead, head coach. “We just came up a little short. They fought hard.”
Marion County claimed that lead with a five-run outburst in the opening frame — including a three-run home run by Jamison Epps — while Jatavian Churchill came across to score for Washington County.
WC inched a bit closer in the fourth inning, when Josh Burkhead came around to score after pinch-running for Luke Mattingly, who reached base with a two-out single.
Marion County busted the game open in the fifth, however, with six more runs. Davis Rafferty led the charge with a two-run homer before Washington County made its late-game rally.
Campbellsville awaited Marion County in the District 5 final, with Campbellsville cruising to a convincing 12-0 victory to finish the double-elimination tournament undefeated.
Washington County found themselves fighting for a spot in the final after being eliminated in the final game of the winner’s bracket by Campbellsville earlier in the week.
WC’s Grant Satterly was able to keep Campbellsville’s explosive bats in check for most of the game, but Washington County was unable to find a rhythm at the plate themselves in the 7-0 loss.
“They had a good pitcher on the mound and we just didn’t hit the ball that game and couldn’t put any type of rally together,” Russell Burkhead said. “You’ve got to give Campbellsville credit. They hit the ball and made all the plays.”
Washington County surrendered just two runs over the first three innings, before Campbellsville scored twice more in the fourth and three times in the fifth inning.
Burkhead said his team had plenty to be proud of with their run to the winner’s bracket final and that the group is “going to get better and better.”
“They were just great kids to work with. We didn’t take a day off,” the head coach said. “We practiced something like 17 or 18 straight days and they came with it every day. I’m telling you, I think Washington County’s got a lot to look forward to with baseball.”