Lexington holds on vs. 'Betsy   

By Tim Chambers
star staff

  CHARLOTTE, Tenn. -- If the game's not over until the fat lady sings, then some large woman didn't get to break into chorus until the final out.
  Elizabethton National's saw a dramatic sixth inning comeback fall short in a 7-5 loss to Lexington in the 11-year-old state all-star tournament Wednesday night.
  Elizabethon took a 1-0 lead in the first when Stacey Sheffield walked, then brother Casey doubled to place 'Betsy on top. Lexington took a 4-1 lead after three innings and led 7-1 on a three-run homer by Tyler Brown in the sixth inning.
  Refusing to quit, the 'Betsy Nationals mounted one last comeback in their final at bat. Jake Howell walked to start the sixth, then Clayton "Mud" Ray gathered a single.
  Taylor "Tater" Gouge was able to reach on an error to load the bases for Cody Hill, who would collect an RBI after being hit by a pitch.
  Josh Peterson followed suit, getting beaned for another RBI to close the Lexington lead to 7-3. The "double trouble" connection was up, and this time Stacey was the one doing the damage with a double off the fence, scoring two runs to close the margin to 7-5.
  Lexington then intentionally walked Casey Sheffield, realizing he had homered two times the night before. It was able to get the final batter by strikeout, but not before the E-town boys had put a major scare into the Lexington crowd.
  Stacey Sheffield pitched four innings for Elizabethton, and Casey pitched the final two.
  "These kids played their hearts out the entire tournament, and to finish fourth is quite an accomplishment," stated Elizabethton skipper Richard Sheffield. "I think we came down here and made a good showing for our league."
  The team consisted of Josh Peterson, C.J. Bowling, Casey Sheffield, Stacey Sheffield, Jake Howell, Seth Fleenor, Clayton Ray, Sean Bentley, Taylor Gouge, Nick Campbell, Cody Hill, Lucas Birchfield, Clayton Ray and Corey Beam. Phil "Mouse" Vines and Mike Fleenor were the assistant coaches.
  "I hope the kids will always remember this," added Richard Sheffield. "They were the first 11-year-old team to ever win a berth in the state tournament from our league.
  "It's something they can always be proud of."