Buckingham All-Stars come back to win Majors district title
The Buckingham County Youth League (BCYL) Majors All-Star team faced a 4-1 deficit entering the bottom of the sixth and final inning of the district title game Thursday night before staging a thrilling comeback in front of its home crowd to win 6-4.
After his teammates narrowed the lead of the Amelia All-Star team to 4-3, Dillon Kimberlin hit a two-out three-run walk-off home run in the District 4 Dixie Youth Baseball Major League All-Star Tournament championship game at Gene Dixon Sr. Memorial Park.
The BCYL Majors now advance to the state tournament held in Victoria beginning July 14.
“These boys, they just didn’t give up,” BCYL Majors Manager Ben Gormus said. With a three-run deficit in the final inning, “we said, ‘Hey, we’ve been here before, and we’ve walked away with a win. We can still do it.’ And they believed in themselves. They believed in themselves, and we came away a winner.”
They put together multiple comeback wins during their 4-1 run in the district tourney.
The seeds of Thursday’s five-run rally appeared when Holden Tyson hit a double up the middle. Gormus substituted Cam Newton as the runner because of his outstanding speed. George Hurt got a hit up the middle, and Newton reached home to make the score 4-2.
Hurt ended up on third base. Jake Carter hit a short dribbler down the first base line, and then showed remarkable savviness on the play that followed.
“The first baseman grabs the ball, and Jake Carter stopped running,” Gormus said. “He wouldn’t go to first.”
Normally expecting to tag the batter as he runs through, the first baseman suddenly had to either retreat to tag the base or advance further to tag Carter for the out.
“That bought time for George to score,” Gormus said, making the score 4-3 with one out.
Amelia achieved a strikeout to put two outs on the board, but then Justin Gunter got a single. Camden Allen followed with another single, and Gunter beat the ball in a close play at second.
Kimberlin came up after this, and he launched his second pitch to right center field for the victory.
On the mound for Buckingham, Gunter pitched 4.1 innings, throwing six strikeouts, and Hurt pitched the final 1.2 innings, contributing four strikeouts.
“None of these ballgames that we’ve played in this district were runaways,” Gormus said. “All of them were fought for to win, and that meant a lot to me and to the other coaches. The other coaches, my assistants, have a done a tremendous job. They work with these boys in practice, they work with them on the field, during the game. I take nothing from these coaches.”
Gormus’ Major League squad is the fourth BCYL All-Star team to win a District 4 championship this year, joining the T-ball, Coach Pitch and Minor League teams.
“We’re proud of our whole organization,” Gormus said. “… The Majors had to come down to the last, last bit to get that, but we’re proud to be in that same category with the rest of them.”