Cumberland Reaches District IV Coach Pitch Final Four

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013

AMELIA – The District IV Coach Pitch Tournament has a party crasher.

The Cumberland Youth Association All-Stars defeated Goochland 11-2 on Monday night to advance to the semifinal round of the tournament being played at the Amelia Dixie Youth fields.

Cumberland, which was narrowly defeated by Powhatan in the opening round of the tournament, cruised past Scottsville in the second round, and moved into the Final Four in most convincing fashion on Monday night.

Email newsletter signup

“This is a really good group of kids,” said Cumberland manager Ben Baldwin. “We're probably the youngest team in the field, but they really put forth an effort you might expect to see from an older group. We're getting great support from our parents, and that's really making a difference.”

Cumberland, which struggles with numbers just to field an All-Stars team, let alone compete for District IV titles, is doing so in an unconventional way.

Most programs at the AA, or coach pitch level, consist of children who are nine-years-old.

Cumberland is doing it with two six-year-olds, a couple of seven-year-olds, and enough eight-and nine-year-olds to warrant having an All-Stars team at this level.

Against Goochland on Monday night, the CYL All-Stars scored two runs in the bottom of the first, four in the second and five in the third to build a commanding lead.

Up 11-1 heading into the sixth, Cumberland gave up one run in the inning to reserve the comfortable victory.

Harold Landis led the CYL All-Stars with two runs scored. Also scoring runs for Cumberland were Landon Sutton, Braedyn Schaeffer, Nasir Trent, Cole Dalton, Gradie Mingee, JaShaun Liggon, DeAven Bland, Rexton Braver and Trevor Mingee.

Ian Shifflett and Seth Whaley also reached base during the game and knocked in a couple of runs.

With the victory, Cumberland finds itself in the semifinal round with three very established coach pitch programs.

CYL was scheduled to play undefeated Amelia on Tuesday night. The game follows a 6 p.m. elimination contest between Buckingham and Powhatan.

“We've had coaches from other teams come up and tell us that they are proud of what we are doing,” said Baldwin. “Even in our losses, we're competitive, and other programs are taking notice.”

During Monday's winner's bracket game between Amelia and Powhatan (won by Amelia 10-9 in seven innings), several Cumberland players sat around their coaches and paid attention as Baldwin pointed out the little things players on teams like Amelia and Powhatan know to do on instinct.

The players, paying as much attention as seven- and eight-year-olds hopped up on victory, ice cream and candy are able to do, were taking at least some of it in.

“No matter what happens from here, we've had a great season and a great tournament. This is really fun.”