One win away

Published 10:54 am Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Buckingham County Youth League (BCYL) Majors All-Star team put together a 3-1 run through Tuesday in the District 4 Dixie Youth Baseball Major League All-Star Tournament, leaving the squad a single win away from claiming the district crown.

The Amelia All-Star team was set to face Buckingham in the title game at Gene Dixon Sr. Memorial Park on Thursday at 7 p.m. after the teams had split games earlier in the tourney.

The BCYL Majors had reached the final showdown by defeating Amelia 5-4 Tuesday.

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“We came out hot with the bats,” BCYL Majors Manager Ben Gormus said.

Jake Carter and Camden Allen hit home runs for Buckingham in the first inning.

The team’s bats cooled off later, but outstanding defense and good pitching helped keep Amelia at bay.

George Hurt, Daniel Farrish, Cam Newton and Dillon Kimberlin aided Buckingham on the mound.

Gormus said the team’s defense had carried the team through the whole series so far.

“We had one game I thought we should have won,” he said Tuesday. “We gave it away ourselves, but I don’t take nothing from no other team. That’s the breaks of the ballgame, but I am very pleased at where we are right now. We’re one game from the championship.”

On Monday, the BCYL Majors eliminated the Goochland All-Star team from the tournament by defeating it 8-3.

The game had been tied 3-3 until it went to an extra inning. Eli Bryant started off the seventh inning with a solo home run, the first of five Buckingham runs.

Goochland had a chance to respond in the bottom of the seventh, but two batters struck out, one was walked and then the BCYL Majors got the final out.

Gormus noted that Justin Gunter pitched a great game, throwing for five-and-a-half innings, and Hurt closed the game out on the mound in clutch fashion.

Gunter was also active offensively, hitting a home run. Carter did the same.

On Sunday came Buckingham’s loss, a 6-5 result against Amelia.

“I think we beat ourselves,” Gormus said. “Our bats just didn’t come alive … Early in the game, we had some errors, and they got some runs off of it. And I think that was the turnaround point of that game.”

Despite the loss, Bryant and Sam Trimble each contributed a home run.

The BCYL Majors opened their tourney play with a 9-6 victory over Goochland on June 30.

With the game tied 6-6 through six innings, Buckingham scored three unanswered runs in the top of the seventh to win.

Gunter hit a home run while also spending time on the mound, where he was later relieved by Hurt.

Relishing the latest chapter in his BCYL coaching career, Gormus reflected on what the opportunity to play youth baseball means to his players.

“It means a lot to them,” he said Tuesday at the Gene Dixon complex. “You see what’s going on if you come down here. It’s a lot going on here, and I want to thank the parents, grandparents, children, everyone supporting this thing, I want to thank them for it. I’ve been here a long time, and I enjoy it. I enjoy doing this.”