CHAPMANVILLE — The Madison Little League 9-10 Year Old All Stars just completed a deep and thrilling run through the State Little League Tournament, going further than any other Madison team in recent memory.
The tournament was scheduled to take place at the Chapmanville Little League Park, but due to weather issues related to rain, the tournament also took place at the Logan Little League Park and through the hard work of Madison Little League President Rodney Kuhn and countless other volunteers, was able to be concluded at the Madison Little League Park.
The Madison team drew St. Albans in the opening round of the tournament on Saturday, July 11 in Logan. St. Albans, which was expected to be one of the top contenders for the state title, jumped out to a 5-1 lead over Madison in the third inning and never looked back on their way to a 14-3 victory over Madison.
Griffin Miller went two for two with a double and Cooper Martin went one for two with two runs scored to provide the limited offense for Madison.
The tournament was conducted in a double elimination format, so Madison face the Beckley All Stars in an elimination game on Sunday, July 12 in Logan. Madison jumped to a 2-1 lead in the first inning courtesy of a singles by Reece Carden and Cooper Martin, who knocked in by a double by Hunter Dolin.
Madison added to their lead on a single by Jay Sharps, who was then knocked in by a hard hit to left field from Will Thompson to give Madison a 3-1 lead.
Beckley got a run back in the third. Martin turned in a gutsy performance from the mound, reaching his pitch limit in the 5th inning, when he was relieved Griffin Miller, who worked himself out of a bases loaded jam by striking out the last three Beckley batters of the inning.
Madison pick up an insurance run in the 5th inning after a double by Reece Carden, who was then knocked in by Cooper Martin. Madison picked up another insurance run in the 6th when Hunter Dolin led off with a double and was knocked in by Owen Adkins following a sacrifice fly from Hunter Null.
Reece Carden came in as a pitcher in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and struck out the side to give Madison the 5-2 victory.
Next up for the boys from Madison were the Summersville All Stars. The game was originally was going to be played at the Chapmanville Little League field on Monday, July 13 but a thunderstorm started before the game could officially begin. The game was moved to the Madison Little League field the next day.
There, Madison jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back in coasting to a 14-2 victory. Hitting stars for Madison included Hunter Dolin, who went two for three with a double and a home run that flew over the fence, Andrew Britton, who went three for four, Jordan Fowler stole four stolen bases, including a steal of home and Sam Cook who knocked in two runs.
This set up a rematch with St. Albans in the Elite 8 of the tournament in Madison on the following day. Reece Carden led off with a triple and was knocked in by Cooper Martin in the top of the first. In the second, Jay Sharps led off with a single and Owen Adkins pinch ran for him and stole second, Will Thompson knocked him in with a double to right to give Madison a 2-0 lead.
St. Albans scored one run in the bottom of the inning, but the scoring ended there when catcher Austin Light made a nice tag on another runner tried to score. The teams remained scoreless through the third inning and Madison had a chance to add to the lead in the 4th when Will Thompson walked and stole second, followed by a walk to Jordan Fowler.
Reece Carden hit a shot to centerfield, but Thompson was thrown out at home on a nice play by St. Albans. St. Albans scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead, but in the top of the 5th, Cooper Martin hit a one out double, followed a walk to Hunter Dolin.
Hunter Null, who was the starting pitcher for the day and pitched a very strong game, helped out his cause with a double that scored both Martin and Dolin. St. Albans went scoreless in the bottom of the fifth. In the Reece Carden had a two out walk, followed by a single from Andrew Britton.
Cooper Martin than hit a ground rule double that scored Carden to give Madison a 5-4 lead in the 6th. St. Albans tied the score in the bottom of the sixth on a walk and a steal of home with two outs to send the game to extra innings.
Madison went scoreless in the top of the seventh, and St. Albans scored a run in the bottom of the game to win the game 6-5. St. Albans went on to lose in the next round to the eventual state champion Martinsburg 5-4.
Josh Sharps managed the Madison team and was helped out by coaches Scott Light and J.W. Martin.
Sharps said after the game that he was proud of the way the boys had played and that they not only had a bright future in Little League, but also he also expected big things out them once they reach the middle school and high school ranks.