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SOUTH BOSTON –– And you thought it was hot in South Boston.
For Carroll County folk, an excursion off the mountain to just about anywhere away from the moderate climes of home means a much more muggy destination lay ahead. And while Halifax County might have seemed just a tad sultry, southern Alabama may come across as downright oppressive this time of year.
A bunch of 15- and 16-year-olds from the county can’t wait to find out for themselves.
Carroll County scorched Powhatan 14-3 in six innings Tuesday to win the Virginia Dixie Pre-Majors state championship and earn a spot in the Pre-Majors World Series, set to begin July 25 in Ozark, Ala. The team will open play next Saturday against Tennessee state champion Collierville, out of Memphis.
After Monday’s extra-inning, 1-0 win over host Halifax County, Tuesday’s championship came as easy as a cool breeze. Carroll County took a 6-0 lead after two innings and never looked back, becoming just the second Twin County team to reach a world series, the first since Carroll County won the Dixie Boys state title in the late 80s.
Playing as the visitor despite being the last unbeaten team in the tournament, Carroll County got plenty of help early on from Powhatan, a team Carroll had thumped 16-0 on Saturday. Three walks and two errors led to a pair of first-inning runs, and four more crossed in the second thanks in part to three free passes and another defensive miscue.
Lee Underwood and Jordan Lamb led off the game by looking at eight straight balls, and a potential double play ball was thrown away at first, allowing courtesy runner Kris Musser to score.
Jordan Hawks singled to drive in Craig Rosen, and Powhatan avoided further damage by leaving the bases loaded.
That further damage occurred in the top of the second, however. Blake Bowman walked and scored on a booted grounder off the bat of Underwood, and another Hawks single brought in Musser for a 3-0 lead. Shane Webb pushed the lead to 6-0 with a two-run single to right-center.
Underwood, who would pitch two complete games in the event, retired six of the first seven batters he faced, and Carroll County was working on its third time through the order before Powhatan’s No. 9 man took his first at-bat. An error and another walk kicked off a three-run Carroll County third, with one run crossing on a Lamb single and another on Rosen’s sacrifice fly. Hawks then knocked in his third run in as many at-bats, grounding out to second to score Lamb, giving Underwood a 9-0 cushion.
A sweet 4-6-3 double play aided Underwood in a 1-2-3 third, but Powhatan used an RBI single and a two-run throwing error to clip the lead to 9-3 in the fourth.
That was all the dramatics that Powhatan could muster as Underwood sat down eight of the last nine batters he faced, allowing one baserunner on an infield error.
Carroll County got another two-run Webb single in the fifth, and pushed the gap past the 10-run margin in the sixth on run-producing singles by Garrett Nelson and Jared Cox plus another error, Powhatan’s seventh of the game.
Underwood coaxed three fly balls in the bottom of the sixth and allowed four hits for the game, finishing the tournament with two wins and a save, allowing one earned run in 14 innings of work.
Hawks and Webb were a combined 4-for-9 with seven RBIs for Carroll County, which drew 11 walks in the game.
Carroll County Powhatan ab r h bi ab r h bi
Underwood p 2 0 0 0 Wolfe lf 3 0 0 0
Musser cr 0 3 0 0 Corbitt 1b 3 1 2 0
Lamb 3b 2 3 1 1 Robinson ss 2 1 0 0
Rosen rf 4 2 1 1 Wells rf 3 1 1 1
Hawks dh 4 1 2 3 Weeks 2b 3 0 0 0
Snow c 0 0 0 0 Barton 3b 3 0 0 0 Nelson ph 1 1 1 1 Netherlnd 1b 0 0 0 0 Bryant lf 3 2 1 0 Jones p 2 0 0 0
Cox ss 3 0 1 1 Royal cf 2 0 1 0
Webb 3b 5 0 2 4 Wingfield c 2 0 0 0
Vass 2b 0 0 0 0 Tobler 1b 3 0 0 0 Matthws 1b 0 0 0 0 Bowman cf 3 2 0 0 Totals 30 14 9 11 23 3 4 1 Carroll County 243 023––14 9 2 Powhatan 000 300–– 3 4 7
E – Robinson 2, Barton, Weeks, Wells 2, Webb 2, Jones. DP – Carroll County 1 (4-6-3). 2B – Rosen. Sac. – Rosen. SB – Bowman 2, Lamb, Hawks, Webb, Bryant, Wolfe. LOB – Carroll County 11, Powhatan 3.
Carroll County ip r er h k bb Underwood (W) 6 3 1 4 3 1 Powhatan Corbitt (L) 1 2 0 1 1 3 Wells 3 7 1 3 3 6 Jones 2 5 4 5 0 2 Hbp – (by Wells) Bryant.