By Lori Cathey
The North Gibson All-Stars defeated Humboldt, Trenton, Lake County and Bradford to become the 2018 Cal Ripken 11/12-year-old Little League district camps. The tournament was held June 18-25 in Humboldt.
The North Gibson All-Stars got off to a good start Monday night with a 14-0 win over Humboldt. The All-Stars took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on singles by Jessie McKinney, Eli Goad and Lane Fowlkes.
In the second inning, Landen Shanklin singled and Cooper Garland and McKinney both doubled to score two runs to make it 4-0 North Gibson. The All-Stars added three runs in the third inning on a triple to centerfield by Clayton Croom and singles by Davis Eakes, Goad and Shanklin to give North Gibson a 7-0 lead. Camron Clark and McKinney both doubled and Fowlkes singled to extend North Gibson’s lead to 9-0. The All-Stars scored five runs in the top of the fifth and held Humboldt scoreless in the bottom of the inning for the 14-0 win.
Next the North Gibson All-Stars faced Trenton. Trenton scored two runs in the top of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. North Gibson scored four runs in the bottom of the inning behind a triple by Jessie McKinney, doubles by Taylor Alford and Clayton Croom and singles by Aiden Bradberry and Camron Clark to give them a 4-2 lead.
In the second inning, Trenton scored a run and NG All-Stars outfielder Carter Crandall made a running catch to end the inning. North Gibson scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 7-3.
In the bottom of the third inning, North Gibson’s Davis Eakes doubled to right-center field with the All-Stars scoring three runs in the inning to extend their lead to 10-3. Trenton scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning with the All-Stars scoring four more runs in the bottom of the inning for a 14-5 win.
On Thursday, the All-Stars defeated Lake County 6-3 to advance to the championship game. In the first inning, North Gibson’s Jessie McKinney singled; Camron Clark and Lane Fowlkes hit back-to-back doubles scoring two runs to give North Gibson a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, the All-Stars scored two runs on singles by Eli Goad, Landen Shanklin, Clayton Croom and Clark to take a 4-0 lead. Lake County scored a run in the top of the fourth inning with North Gibson scoring a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 5-1 North Gibson.
In the top of the fifth, Lake County scored two runs to make it 5-3. North Gibson’s Lane Fowlkes led off the fifth inning with a double to left field followed by a double to right field by Landen Shanklin scoring Fowlkes to give North Gibson a 6-3 lead and the win.
Saturday afternoon, North Gibson faced Bradford in championship game. Bradford took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning off doubles by Ethan Richardson and Taylor McKinney and singles by Hatcher Mercer and Hunter Ellis. Bradford scored two runs in the second inning to make it 5-0. Bradford’s Blane Fisher singled and scored in the top of the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the All-Stars scored two runs on singles by Jessie McKinney and Clayton Croom to make it 50 2 Bradford. Bradford scored five runs in the top of the fifth inning with a double from Richardson and singles by Jax Street and Mercer to extend Bradford’s lead to 10-2.
The All-Stars were unable to score for the remainders of the game with Bradford adding a run in the top of the sixth inning for an 11-2 Bradford win that forced a second championship game.
In the second championship game Monday night, North Gibson defeated Bradford 6-2. Bradford opened with Blane Fisher singling to right field. Fisher scored on a double down the right field line by Ethan Richardson. Richardson scored on a passed ball to give Bradford a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the second inning, the All-Stars scored a run off a walk by Landen Shanklin and a double to centerfield by Clayton Croom to make it 2-1 Bradford. Over the next three innings, both teams played great defense with good pitching and held each other scoreless. North Gibson All-Stars were down to the final three outs when their bats exploded. Jessie McKinney started the inning off with a walk, Camron Clark doubled to centerfield scoring McKinney to tie the game at 2-all with no outs. Lane Fowlkes and Landen Shanklin hit back-to-back singles. Croom singled to right field to score Fowlkes and Shanklin to make it 5-2 North Gibson. Croom went to second base on a throw and scored on a single by Davis Eakes to give North Gibson a 6-2 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ethan Richardson hit a hard line drive to third baseman Clayton Croom who made as great catch for the first out. Taylor McKinney struck out and Jax Richardson ground out to first baseman Camron Clark for the final out that secured North Gibson’s win.
North Gibson pitcher Jessie McKinney earned the win for the All-Stars. He pitched a complete game, allowing two runs, five hits, two walks and struck out 7 batters. Hitting for the NG All-Stars were Camron Clark 2-3 with a double; Clayton Croom 2-3 with a double; Lane Fowlkes 2-3; Cooper Garland 1-3; Landen Shanklin 1-2; Davis Eakes 1-2 and Eli Goad 1-1.
Hitting for Bradford were Hatcher Mercer 2-3 with a double; Ethan Richardson 1-3 with a double; Blane Fisher 1-3 and Hunter Ellis 1-2.