6 Sigma subdues Bankers, VFA rolls past Burgie Drug

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   It was quite a tussle between 6 Sigma Automation and Carter County Bank on Monday night, and the game ended in a 6-4 final with 6 Sigma capturing the Elizabethton National Little League win at T.J. Burleson Field.
   "Seems like we've been in close ballgames all year, and I'm real proud of the kids," said 6 Sigma Automation coach Kenny Hardin. "Hopefully they're coming together at the right time."
   In the first inning of play, 6 Sigma grabbed the lead after five straight walks came from Carter County Bank to score two runs.
   Brandon Woodby and Matt Cannon were assisted in crossing the plate, and Eric Norman scored off of a passed ball making it 3-0 after one.
   Carter County Bank stormed back in the bottom of the second, as it was able to capitalize off a couple of errors, three walks and a batter hit by a pitch.
   An error at shortstop scored the Bankers' first two runs, with Cain McWalters and Tyler Blevins coming home.
   Two more runs scored after another error by the second-baseman allowed Heath Honeycutt and Chase Depew to cross the plate, making it a 4-3 comeback.
   6 Sigma attempted to regain the lead in the top of the third, but it looked as if it wasn't going to happen after their first two batters struck out.
   Then a big hit to center from Wendell Loving gave 6 Sigma the momentum it was looking for.
   What followed was a walk to Logan Loving, and then a single up the middle by William Wagner that drove in Loving for the tie.
   "Wendell Loving busted the ball when we needed it, so did Cannon and Wagner, and I'm excited. We beat a really good team," said Hardin.
   6 Sigma recaptured the lead after bases were loaded as a walk to D.J. Reece scored Logan Loving to give the team a 5-4 advantage.
   Carter County Bank had a chance to tie the game back up in the bottom of the third, as Isiah Osborne ripped a double, and an error by the third-baseman enabled Kenny Yarberry to get on base with one out.
   The 6 Sigma defense held with a pop-out to the second baseman, and a ground ball to the pitcher and throw to first.
   Another run was added in the fourth for 6 Sigma, which created a question on whether the run was to be allowed to advance on base.
   A ground-hit from Wendell Loving struck Cannon, who was headed for second on the leg, which caused a dead-ball ruling with Cannon being called out.
   It was argued that since bases were loaded that the runners could advance, but it was to the disapproval of the Carter County dug-out, which brought protest to the game.
   "That the toughest job in the world," Hardin said. "I've umpired, and I don't envy anyone who has to stand back there. It's just a tough call."
   Regardless, 6 Sigma enjoyed a two-run lead heading into the bottom of the fourth, which came the final inning of play due to the time-limit.
   Valley Forge Auction 17
   Burgie Drug 1
   Valley Forge Auction moved within one game of closing out their season with a share of the league's best record, as they defeated Burgie Drug by a final of 17-1.
   "All of our kids hit well, and it was a total team effort tonight," said Valley Forge Auction coach Jeff Dykes.
   The only way Valley Forge can lay claim to the regular season title is if it wins its final game, and if the Twins slip up with a loss in their remaining games.
   Either way, VFA is in position to finish no lower than second place.
   "If we can win out and the Twins lose one more game, then we will win the regular season outright," said Dykes.
   In the night's action, Burgie started the top of the first with an attempt of making a run.
   Jordan Meredith made an effort to cross the plate on a passed ball, but was tagged out by the pitcher at home plate.
   Valley Forge Auction racked up five runs in its first try at bat, as Burgie seemed to have the upper hand when they turned a double-play from the pitcher to second-base and the to first.
   But an error by the shortstop on the next play caused Burgie Drug to unravel as three consecutive hits were made to drive in three runs.
   Christopher Dunbar drove home the first two scores, as a double to left-field brought in Justin Peters and Blake Hopson.
   Another run came across off of a hit to right field from Bradley McVey scoring Dunbar.
   The final two runs came when Jordan Hodges elected to steal second, which enabled McVey to cross the plate.
   Then a single up the middle by Chris Brummitt brought home Hodges to make it 5-0 after one inning of play.
   Five more runs came in the second frame for Valley Forge as it acquired six hits, with one of those coming from John Robinson to score Garrett Dykes.
   The lead grew to 17-0 after the third frame with Valley Forge continuing to hit and ring up the runs.
   A double from Peters brought home the first two scores, with Andy Crockett and Dykes crossing the plate, and the last score off of a hit was by Daniel Roberts with a hard shot to center-field to bring in Dunbar.
   Burgie Drug finally captured a score in the fourth frame, when leadoff hitter Zack Miller crushed a triple to right field, which spoiled a no-hitter for Brummitt, allowing just one on the night.
   From there Arron Vaughn reached base on a walk, and decided to make a steal to second-base. This created an opportunity for Miller to come home, as a throw was made to second.
   "Chris Brummitt did an excellent job for us tonight," Dykes said. "This is the first time he has really pitched for us this year."