Dino's boys, girls claim first-place honors

By Marvin Birchfield

   The Carter County League wrapped up its tee-ball season on Saturday as the Advanced Heat Pumps/Ritchie Electrical beat the Climate Controllers in a 6-5 final, but Dino's still managed to place first in the year-end standings.
   Advanced scored off a in-the-park home run from Danny Bales in the final inning to forge a three-way tie with David's Trophies and Estep Trucking for second in the season.
   "It was a real tough one," said Advanced/Ritchie Electrical coach Mark Ritchie. "We couldn't get our hitting and both teams played great infield, and it went down to that last inning."
   In the top of the first, Climate Controllers scored when Brandon Wilson connected on an infield single to drive in Blake Coxwell.
   Advanced came back to take a 4-1 lead, after Christopher Perry made a hit to bring home Billy Bales.
   The first run crossed for Advanced when Caleb Whitehead drove in Danny Bales. Two more runs were added on a single to right field from Billy Bales to score Seth Blevins and Whitehead.
   Climate Controllers tied the contest in the top of the third after scoring three runs.
   A double by Wilson scored Brent Tipton, and a single from Andy Baumgardner brought home Wilson.
   The game was tied after a shot to center field by Logan Shipley drove in Baumgardner.
   A hit from Billy Bales in the bottom of the third gave the lead back to Advanced when Preston Davis crossed the plate.
   The Climate Controllers even the contest in the top of the fourth after an infield single brought in Coxwell.
   With the Climate threatening to go ahead, third baseman Danny Bales did a good job in preventing it from happening.
   He made the tag at third for the forced out and threw the runner out heading for first to convert a double-play.
   "He played really good today, and I had been switching them around all year, so now I think they are where their comfortable," said Ritchie.
   After stopping the Climate Controllers in the top of the fifth, Danny Bales came up for Advanced big once again by knocking an infield homer and scoring the winning run.
   "We have been getting progressively better, and I'm just real proud of them for the way they're playing," said Ritchie.
   In other tee-ball action, Dino's tied with Estep Trucking 4-4 to lay claim to the regular-season title, dropping Estep into a tie for second place.
   "We have a fantastic group of boys, and ended up with three losses on the year in a three-way tie for second place," said Estep Express coach Richard Davenport. "We're looking forward to the tournament because all the boys play hard and have fun."
   Matthew Price, Ethan Sturgill and Chase Sturgill were Dino's key players of the game.
   David's Trophies' 16-3 victory over the Northeast Community Credit Union give them a share of second place, as Jacob Hill, Phillip Marvel and Austin Wilson came through big in their win.
   "We started out slow but the boys came alive and played well," said David's Trophies coach Marty Hill. "We've had some of our younger boys out in the field and they have done really well."
   The Northeast Credit Union was led by Hunter Combs, Jared Wiltshire and Kirk Wright.
   Pennington Auto Sales captures its third win of the season with a 14-8 victory over Watauga Lodge.
   The whole team was voted as the key players of the game for Pennington, while Keaton Price, Brent Parlier and Zachery Marley received the honors for Watauga Lodge.
   Girls Action
   Dino's celebrated their regular-season championship after tying with the Lawn Ranger in an 8-8 final.
   A 6-0 lead in the first inning evaporated for the Lawn Ranger, as Dino's managed to seal first place with the tie.
   "I love playing those kind of games, and they always have a good team and do a great job coaching," said Dino's coach Gary Colbaugh.
   Hits by Danielle Loving and Tanya Luman drove home Kaitlin Campbell and Kaitlin Buckles for the first two runs.
   A double to left field by Naomi Luman brought in Loving and Tanya Luman, and a hit from Lynsey Buckles scored Kassie Winters, while a single by Lexi Perry drove in Buckles.
   Dino's cut the lead to within two runs when Kayla Davenport smacked a hit to center field, bringing home Stephanie Hill and Megan Hardin.
   The Lawn Ranger club stretched its advantage to 8-4 in the bottom of the second as Winters popped a hit up over the pitcher's mound to bring in Loving.
   "We did an excellent job on defense. Our pitcher did great along with the infielders, who went after the ball," said Colbaugh.
   Dino's responded in the final frame to tie the contest, as Hannah Tipton drove home the first run with a hit to left field, which scored Madison Campbell.
   Kayla Simerly and Alicia Colbaugh crossed the plate off of hits from Tiffany Absher and Olivia Shoun.
   This set up the tying run, with a hit coming from Megan Hardin to drive home Absher.
   "We beat them twice, so that puts us in first place," said "It's been great. I like coaching these girls and this is a great league to learn from."
   In another exciting contest that went down to the final inning, Barbara Kimbrel All-State Insurance came from behind to defeat Stoney's Pizza in a 5-4 final.
   "We done it with the bottom of our lineup, and they really came up through for us," said All-State coach Mark Simmons.
   After jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Stoney's Pizza failed to earn another run, which led to the All-State victory.
   "One thing we need to learn is how to not fight over the ball or sling the bat," said Stoney's Pizza coach Amy Colbaugh. "We need to start playing as a team and hit the ball better than we have."
   A shot from Mikayla Reece brought the first run to the plate for Stoney's, with Haley Fair scoring.
   The final run came home when a hit by Jamie Morely drove home Savannah Wood.
   "We have a lot of young players on this team, and hopefully next year we'll improve and win a lot more games than we did this year," said Colbaugh.
   All-State cut the lead in half during the bottom of the frame, when hits from Brooke Simmons and Jessica Poarch brought home Kallee Walker and Katie Rasnick.
   A late rally from the All-State came in the final frame, as it trailed by two runs entering the bottom of the third.
   Holly Poarch connected on a hit to tie the contest, with Sydney Puckett crossing the plate, and the winning run was scored by Holly Poarch when off a hit from Walker.
   "We've played better, but the girls never gave up and were able to come back for us," said Simmons. "Who knows, we might surprise them come tournament time."