BET Welding reaches NLL finals

By Travis Brown
STAR Staff
tbrown@starhq.com

   Now it is down to the final two in the annual Elizabethton National Little League postseason tournament, as Valley Forge Auction fell to BET Welding by a 10-3 score on Friday night.
   This game was one of the most mistake free of the entire season as both teams engaged in a pitching duel with some fine defense to supplement.
   BET looked as if they were going to take the early lead, as two free passes and a Michael Hutchins single, loaded the bases with only one away in the top of the first. Auction hurler Christopher Dunbar would rally to strike out the next two hitters and strand all three to escape with the score still knotted at 0-0.
   V.F.A. would go quietly in the home half of the third as BET's defense took center stage with a fine play in right field by Adam Buck and a pair of nice plays in the infield.
   In the second inning the Welders would get on the board thanks to a leadoff walk to Luke Snyder. Snyder would come around to score on a single to right by Brandon Fair to give BET the lead 1-nil.
   In the home half of the second, Auction could not get a key hit with runners in scoring position and stranded a pair of base runners heading to the third.
   After the Welders went easily in the top of the third, Valley Forge would come very close to breaking the ice in the bottom of the third. With a runner in scoring position, Jake Davis made a diving stab in center field coming from his second base position to keep V.F.A. off the board heading into the fourth.
   BET would add some insurance in the top of the fourth courtesy of a leadoff single by Joe Guinn. He would score two batters later on Snyder's single to right. With runners on the corners an no outs, Dunbar bore down and struck out the next three hitters to hold within 2 runs.
   Auction would draw first blood in the fourth. Brandon Woods leadoff single put a runner on for V.F.A. cleanup-man Blake Hopson. On a 3-0 count, Hopson had the green light as he took a high heater for the ride and 200+ feet later, Auction was in the ballgame, tied at 2-2.
   The floodgates fell open in the top half of the fifth for BET however as they sent 8 hitters to the plate and turned three hits into 4 runs blowing the game open 6-2 heading to the bottom half.
   After failing to answer in the home half of the fifth, Auction could not stop the onslaught as the Welders tacked on 4 more in the sixth to put the game away on a base clearing triple by Jake Peters.
   Valley Forge could only muster one run in the last half of the sixth and bowed out of the tournament with a 10-3 loss to the 4th seed.