BARBOURSVILLE - Bi-State entered Thursday's 5:30 game needing only one victory to secure the West Virginia Little League state championship. Their opponent, Barboursville, needed to topple Bi-State not only at 5:30 but then again at 7:30 to earn the title.
By Chapin Jewell
BARBOURSVILLE - Bi-State entered Thursday’s 5:30 game needing only one victory to secure the West Virginia Little League state championship. Their opponent, Barboursville, needed to topple Bi-State not only at 5:30 but then again at 7:30 to earn the title.
Considering the stifling heat, and much to the delight of the large Bi-State fan base assembled, the boys from Mineral County needed only one game, a 14-6 victory, to secure the state championship and now advance to Greenville, North Carolina, for the Tournament of State Champions.
Entering that 5:30 contest Thursday, it’s safe to say Bi-State was a decided favorite. After all, they had previously defeated Barboursville on Tuesday by a score of 13-0. Not to mention the fact that they had a day’s rest on Wednesday while Barboursville was locked into a tough battle with Bridgeport to advance to the title game. Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that Bi-State had outscored their seven opponents by an astounding 107 runs to 7 leading up to the title game.
Nobody, however, bothered to tell Barboursville how much of a favorite Bi-State was as they came right out of the gate swinging and punched the favorite Bi-State right in the mouth; jumping out to a 2-0 lead before Bi-State had a chance to swing the bat. Barboursville’s runs came by way of a walk and two hits.
For their part, Bi-State responded as a champion should, swinging right back to tie the game at two runs apiece at the end of the first inning.
“We tied the score in the bottom of the first inning with a leadoff walk to Jaxon Hare, who was moved to second on a passed ball and then advanced to third on a Blake Jacobs groundout. Hare scored on a single by Jeremiah Babo. Singles by Jesus Perdew and Lanson Orndorf loaded the bases; Hunter Harr drew a walk to score the second run, while a groundout and a strikeout ended the inning,” coach Mike Orndorf explained.
Barboursville started the second inning with a single, but Bi-State responded with a couple of outstanding defensive plays to prevent any scoring. According to Coach Orndorf, “The second batter grounded a ball to second baseman Bryson McKenzie who quickly turned and forced the runner out at second with a strong throw from deep in the hole to get the out. Then, with runners on first and second, Blake Jacobs snagged a line drive at third and doubled off the runner at second to end the inning.
Bi-State continued their offensive attack in the bottom of the second inning, scoring three more runs to extend their lead to 5-2 at the end of two innings. Things started slow in the inning, however, with two straight outs. But, as has been the custom, Bi-State got the bats rolling despite having their backs to the wall.
“Blake Jacobs doubles, Jeremiah (Babo) reaches on an infield single, moving Jacobs to third. Babo took second base on the next pitch and Jesus Perdew walked to load the bases. Lanson Orndorf then drove in one run with a single; Hunter Harr plated the second and third runs with a single, making it 5-2 at the end of two innings,” Orndorf stated.
But Barboursville continued the fight, scoring three runs in the top of the third inning to tie the game 5-5, on two hits and two errors; Bi-State could muster no offense in the third inning, going three up and three down. At the end of three innings, the game was tied at five runs apiece.
Bi-State shut Barboursville out in the top half of the fourth inning and then came alive in the bottom of the fourth in very big way, scoring seven runs to blow the game wide open and extend their lead entering the fifth inning to seven runs with a score of 12-5.
That seven-run onslaught began with a game-changing play by the leadoff batter, Blake Jacobs. According to Orndorf, “Barboursville’s pitcher shook off the coach’s pitch call; Blake Jacobs made him pay by taking that pitch over the fence in left-center for a leadoff homerun.”
This put Bi-State up 6-5 and shifted the momentum to Mineral County’s side of the field.
Singles by Jeremiah Babo, Lanson Orndorf, Bryson Moorehead, and Landon Tysinger accounted for three more runs. Then came walks from Jaxon Hare and Bryson McKenzie, and singles by Jacobs and Babo to finish off the fourth inning scoring with a total of seven runs, giving Bi-State a convincing 12-5 lead entering the fifth inning.
At this point Jesus Perdew handed pitching duties for Bi-State off to Lanson Orndorf. In four innings of work, Perdew threw 70 pitches, striking out four, walking one, and allowing five hits.
Barboursville produced one run in the top of the fifth to inch a little closer, but still trailed Bi-State by six runs (12-6).
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Lanson Orndorf drew a leadoff walk and went to second base on a wild pitch. Orndorf was then moved to third on a Hunter Harr groundout. Carson Feaster was then hit by a pitch and moved to second without a throw on the next pitch. According to Orndorf, “Cam Sell then singled down the left field line to plate two runs, giving Bi-State a 14-6 lead after five innings.”
On the mound for Bi-State in the sixth inning, Lanson Orndorf would finish the game off with a flyout and two strikeouts. With the win, Bi-State secured the West Virginia Little League 9-11 years-old state championship. In doing so, they moved their record to 8-0 and have outscored their opponents by an amazing 121-1, an average score of 15-2 per game.
“The work that these young men have put in through the winter and since June 1 has been amazing to watch. They have taken a business-like approach to the post-season tournaments and it has shown with their play on the field,” a satisfied Bi-State head coach Mike Orndorf explained.
Bi-State now advances to the Tournament of State Champions, held in Greenville, North Carolina. Their first game is slated for Saturday, July 27, at 6:15 p.m., against Florida. They next play Tennessee on Sunday, July 28, at 12:45 p.m., followed by a matchup with Alabama on Monday, July 29, at 10 a.m.
All games will be streamed onwww.livestream.com/greenvillelittleleagues. Bi-State will incur significant expenses with this trip. Anyone wishing to donate to help with team expenses can contact coach Mike Orndorf at 240-522-2515.
According to Coach Orndorf, “Winning a state title of any kind is very special; they have worked hard and deserve it. This is something that I hope they never forget and realize what they have accomplished. I’m just glad I get to sit on my bucket and enjoy the way they play the game.”