Elizabethton All-Stars collar state berth

from staff reports

   JOHNSON CITY -- Determination will win you ballgames, and that was evident in Elizabethton's 20-4 rout of Johnson City National in the Babe Ruth 13-year-old all-star tournament on Sunday.
   On Thursday night, in the opening round of the 13-year-old all-star tournament, Cody Marley slid into first and turned his ankle. Thinking it was broke he checked out of the hospital on crutches with orders to stay off his feet for a week or two.
   Marley, though, was determined to play in the Bath Ruth state tournament. Throwing the crutches away on Saturday and wanting to enter the game, the Elizabethton coach decided he was not ready to play.
   On Sunday, in the finals against Johnson City -- a team that eliminated Elizabethton out of the Little League tournament last season -- Marley wanted to pitch. After about an hour of working out and loosening, up Marley went to the mound and pitched the game of his career.
   Throwing a three-hitter against a tough opponent, the 'Betsy All-Stars eliminated the second Johnson City team of the tournament and advanced to the championship game while earning a berth in the state tournament.
   'Betsy jumped all over Johnson City in the first as Jake Peters walked, as did Jeff Peters, and Blake Hopson's single scored both runs. Hopson scored on a passed ball after stealing second and third for a 'Betsy 3-0 lead.
   Johnson City battled back in the bottom with back-to-back singles by Denton and Stevens, and both scored on a base hit by Ring.
   Brown walked, then runners advanced to second and third, but a great catch by Aaron Bradford at shortstop would save two runs and end the first inning.
   Brandon Cole and Marley walked to open the second, then singles by J.D. Scalf, Jeff Peters and Hopson put runs on the board.
   Bradford and C.J. Campbell also walked, and a hit by Wendell Loving scored several before leaving the dugout. The result: eight runs on four hits as Betsy went up 11-2.
   Marley's pitching improved in the second as he got the first two batters to ground back to him for the easy outs. Bradford once again made an outstanding stop and put out to end the inning.
   Elizabethton would score three in the third and six in the fourth for the decisive win.
   Jeff Peters and Hopson went 3-for-3 for Elizabethton, with Scalf going 2 for 4.
   Elizabethton plays Kingsport tonight at 6 at Roller Field in Johnson City for the championship.