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Carroll County and Galax will send a total of six youth baseball teams to their respective state tournaments after district tournament action wrapped up last Wednesday night.
Carroll County took two games from Floyd County on Wednesday to win the Dixie Boys (14-year-olds) District 5 championship, joining Carroll County American AAA (8-10-year-olds), Galax and Carroll County O Zone Majors (11-12s), Carroll County Junior Boys (13s), Carroll County Boys (14s) and Carroll County Pre-Majors (15-16s) as teams destined for state tournaments.
In the three-team Boys district tournament at the Carroll County Recreation Department, Carroll opened with a 3-0 loss to Floyd County on Sunday. Floyd pounded Wythe County in five innings on Monday and Carroll did the same Tuesday, eliminating Wythe and setting up another meeting between the two. Brandon Lineberry cracked two home runs against Wythe, the only times he got to swing the bat in the tournament, as Floyd intentionally walked the Carroll slugger each time he came to bat.
Entering the final day undefeated, Floyd County needed to win just one of two to advance to the state tournament, but Carroll County claimed a 7-6 win to force a decisive second game. After jumping out to an early 10-run lead in the nightcap, Carroll County was three outs away from ending the game in five innings, but Floyd battled back and forced the game to go the full seven innings. Trailing 19-10 in the bottom of the seventh, Floyd strung together a five-run rally, but Cody Thompson came on to earn the save, leaving the potential tying run standing in the on-deck circle with the clock showing 11:30 p.m.
Carroll advances to the state tournament in South Boston, starting July 17.
O Zone Majors
Galax came out of a very competitive seven-team bracket to claim the District 1 O Zone Majors championship at the Carroll County Recreation Department, receiving a bid to the state tournament in Radford.
Galax held off Alleghany, N.C. to reach the final day of play with an unblemished record, while Carroll County National eliminated Floyd County with a 10-run decision, avenging an opening-round loss to Floyd and advancing to meet Galax.
Needing to win one of two against Carroll National for the championship, Galax got it done in one game, holding off Carroll 7-5 for the title.
Both teams advance to the state tournament, which begins Saturday.
Only two teams entered the Junior Boys district tournament, leaving Carroll County and Wythe County to play a best-of-three series for the title. Carroll led 9-0 in Sunday’s first game before Wythe rallied for a 10-10 tie, but Carroll managed to pull ahead late for a 14-10 win. Monday’s second game was rained out with Carroll leading 8-5 in the fourth, and the teams returned Tuesday as Carroll finished off Wythe to earn its trip to the state tournament in South Boston, starting this Saturday.
The District 1 AAA tournament came down to a final between two Carroll County teams, with Carroll National outlasting Carroll American 19-9 to punch its ticket to Keysville for the state tourney, which began Saturday.
Carroll National had to battle back through the bottom bracket after falling to Carroll American 10-6 in the second round. National eliminated Galax and Floyd County, while Alleghany, N.C. upended Carroll American, leaving the three with one loss each. With National drawing a bye, Carroll American eliminated Alleghany to set up a rematch between the two Carroll teams for the championship.
The win sent one particular coach past the district level for the first time as Moe Davis will finally participate in the state tournament after 26 years of coaching. Davis, who began leading the Gladeville-area teams in 1984 when his son’s team didn’t have a coach, has been one of the more successful and longest-tenured coaches in the Carroll youth program.