The Bank of York rode the strong arm of ace hurler Hunter Latham to the Dixie Minors Tournament championship last week in a 7-2 win over the Reds before a big crowd at the York Recreation Complex.
Latham struck out eight of the first nine Reds batters through three innings.
“Hunter pitched well today,” said Bank of York head coach Mike Whitesides after the June 9 game. “He struck out the majority of them. He’s done a good job on the mound for us all year.”
The Bank of York pushed across a run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead in the Dixie Boys showdown.
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After Grayson Nichols walked to open the inning, Brandon Terry singled, leaving runners at first and third with one out. Latham helped his own cause with a ground ball that sent Nichols across the plate.
The Bank of York broke open with a four-run third inning.
Once again, Nichols walked to open the inning. And once again, Terry followed with a timely base hit, this time a double that scored Nichols.
Later in the inning, an infield single by Ayden Davis, followed by an errant throw into the outfield, sent two more runs across the plate, staking Bank of York to a 5-0 lead.
The Bank of York team scored in the bottom of the fourth when Cooper Williams delivered a double to left field, sending Cameron Williams, who had reached base on a walk, across the plate.
The Reds got on the board in the top of the fifth inning. Jamon Caldwell opened the inning with a walk. Later in the inning, leadoff hitter Coleman Harvey reached base on an infield single, scoring Caldwell.
With two outs, Ethan Brown brought Reds fans to their feet when he hit an inside-the-park home run, making the score 6-2.
The Reds’ opponent picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when Terry ripped a triple to open the inning. He later scored on a wild pitch.
After the trophy presentation recognizing both teams, Whitesides talked about the tournament title.
“Winning the championship means a lot to the kids,” he said. “We have a great bunch.”
Whitesides said that the Bank of York had a young team this year. “Most of the players will be coming back next season,” he said. “We’ll be a good team next year.”
He lauded the Reds for having a successful season. “We beat them three out of four but had some great games,” said Whitesides.
Reds head coach Eric Brown lauded the Bank of York players for a fine season. “Their pitcher did a good job tonight,” said Brown. “They’ve been a good team all year.”
Brown talked about the talent level the Bank of York and the Reds exhibited in the tournament championship showdown. “The best ball players in York competed right here on this field tonight,” he said.
Concluded the Reds coach: “We have a great group of kids. That’s what it’s all about.”