Jr. Aces succumb to Avoca

1:32 am | June 25, 2013

The Avoca 8-U All Stars got off to a hot start and made their way to the state tournament with a 19-9 win over the Elizabethton National Junior Aces on Saturday morning in the district tournament of the Cal Ripken League.
“I’m as proud as can be of this group of kids,” stated Avoca manager Brian McCormack. “We hit the ball well, as did Elizabethton. They found some holes early, but we started to make the plays we needed to.”
The Aces scored five runs to open the top of the first inning against the “pitching machine” with Sean Smithdeal collecting a pair of RBI on a single. Landon Brown also drove a run home with a base knock and a grounder by Jack Farris plated yet another.
Alex Hurley drove home the fifth run of the frame with a single, but the Avoca Stars were up to the early challenge.
Aces 4
Piney Bluff 2
On Friday, the Aces pounded the Piney Bluff squad by a 23-0 tally, but on Saturday afternoon Piney pitcher Bradley Simpkins showed he could bounce back from a rough outing.
Simpkins pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on eight hits, striking out six and walking just four — but was outdueled by Nicholas Johnson, who relieved Logan Estep in the first frame.
“Johnson pitched very well,” said Aces manager Justin Hensley. “He came into the game in a tough spot with the bases loaded, and got out of it.”

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