Elizabethton National tops CCA for Invitational crown

By Matt Wilson
STAR Correspondent
The David's Trophies 11-year-old All-Star Invitational Tournament wrapped up Saturday at Jim Ensor Field with four games that crowned this year's eventual champion: Elizabethton National.
In Game 1, the Carter County American league squad advanced to the championship game with a nailbiter over Johnson City's National League team, 7-6.
Johnson City drew first blood in the second frame when Kevin Smith reached on a fielder's choice. Smith was doubled home by Preston Vaughn with the game's first run.
Vaughn later scored on an error by the CCA third baseman. The CCA squad answered in the third when hot hitting Knox Eryasa got things started with a single.
Micah Cates reached on an error by the second baseman, putting runners at second and third. Zack Boles drove home both Eryasa and Cates with a liner to the gap that proved too tough to tame for the Johnson City center fielder.
Boles scored the go ahead run when Franky Covarrubias reached on an error. CCA its their lead to 4-2 when Eryasa tripled into the right field corner, then promptly scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Dan Campbell.
The Johnson City team then rallied in the top of the fifth with four runs of its own to take a 6-4 lead.
The feisty CCA squad then rallied in the bottom of the fifth when Campbell and Samuel Parlier reached base via a fielder's choice and error, respectively. The man with the hot bat then came up as Eryasa doubled home both base runners.
Eryasa scored the eventual game-winning run off of a single by Tyler Jaynes. Eryasa was 3-for-3 on the day, missing only a home run to hit for the cycle. Jonathan Chapman sent the Johnson City Nationals to the consolation game as he closed out the victory 7-6.
Game 2
Elizabethton National 5
Unicoi County 2
In Game 2, the Elizabethton National All-Stars advanced to the title game to face their cross-county rivals by defeating Unicoi County 5-2. This game was quite the pitchers' duel as Drew Chambers matched Unicoi's D.W. Whitson pitch for pitch in the early frames.
The Blue Devils got on the board first in the third inning when Holden Tolley singled and scored after a double by the pitcher Whitson. The slim one-run lead stood until the fifth, when the Nationals struck for two runs.
Jordan Hodges started things off with a single to right. Jake Davis then reached on an error.
Matt February tied the game with a single to right, scoring Hodges. The pitcher Chambers then gave himself the lead with an RBI single, scoring Davis.
The boys from Unicoi battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth when D.W Whitson reached on a fielder's choice and was driven home by a double off the bat of Seth Whitson.
With the score tied 2-2 in the final frame, the Nationals seemed to be headed for trouble as Whitson struck out the first two hitters. A lazy fly ball to right off the bat of Chase Depew figured to send Unicoi into the game's final at bat needing only one run to win, but the ball popped out of the right fielder's glove, giving the Nationals another chance.
The Nationals made the most of the mistake as Hodges then doubled home Depew to take the lead. Joe Guinn singled home Hodges to add another run. Jacob Davis then singled to center but the center fielder couldn't handle the ball and it skipped to the fence, plating Guinn with the National's fifth run.
Chambers then put the exclamation point on the win from the mound as he struck out three Unicoi batters in the sixth to secure the win and send Unicoi to the consolation game to face Johnson City.
Game 3 (Consolation)
JC National 16
Unicoi 6
Kevin Smith was the winning pitcher and Peter Blosser led Johnson City by going 3-for-4.
Game 4
Elizabethton National 14
Carter County American 3
In the championship game, the Nationals continued their winning ways as they handled the Carter County Americans 14-3.
The Nationals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first when Chase Depew and Joe Guinn both reached on errors. A fielder's choice off the bat of Jacob Davis scored Depew with the game's first run.
Jake Hodge then reached on an error to put runners at first and third for Drew Chambers. In their first game, Drew Chambers picked up the win on the mound. In the championship game, the first baseman Chambers let his bat do the damage.
Chambers singled home both Davis and Hodge to give the Nationals the 3-0 lead.
Micah Cates got the Americans on the board when he walked to start off the frame. The hustling Cates then swiped second on an errant throw back to the pitcher from the catcher.
Cates then moved up to third on a passed ball. Zack Boles singled home Cates to get the Americans back in the game at 3-1.
The Nationals then took command in the top of the fourth. Jordan Hodges doubled to get things started. Jacob Davis walked and Jake Hodge beat out an infield hit to load the bases for Chambers.
The lefty Chambers then shocked and awed the American squad with a monstrous grand slam to right center that cleared the batting cages behind the fence. Staked to the big lead, Chase Depew was on cruise control from there on out as the Nationals added seven runs in their final at bat to win the David's Trophies Invitational in impressive fashion, 14-3.
Chambers was 4-for-5 with seven RBI.