The Man 9-10-year-old Little League all-star baseball team is headed to the state tournament.
Man secured its trip to state with Monday night’s 9-5 win over Tug Valley in the District 2 championship game at the Man Little League field.
Man finished 2-0 in the tourney, also scoring a 1-0 win over Mullens in opening-round play.
The tournament featured just five teams with Madison and Chapmanville also taking part.
The Man All-Stars are set to play in the 9-10 state tourney beginning July 13 in Martinsburg.
District 2 was scheduled to send two teams to the state tourney as Tug Valley was slated to play either Madison or Mullens in Tuesday night’s runner-up game. No score was available as of presstime.
Man, the visiting team on the scoreboard, trailed Tug Valley 3-0 after one inning but rallied back to plate one in the second, one in the fourth, three in the fifth and four big runs in the sixth.
With the game tied 5-5, the clutch hit for Man was Casey Hurley’s three-run triple to the right field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning, which put the locals up 8-5. Man then tacked on another run to lead 9-5 and pitcher Hurley was able to get out Tug Valley in the bottom of the sixth to ice the win and wrap up the trip to Martinsburg.
Gage Mullins was the starting pitcher for Man. He went 2.2 innings and allowed four runs on just one hit with seven strikeouts and six walks. Hurley was credited with the win as he fired the last 3.1 innings and yielded just one run and one hit with five strikeouts and no walks.
At the plate, Mullins singled, was hit by two pitches and scored three runs. Logan Witt clubbed two singles, while Dylan Privett tripled and Ryan Cozart doubled. Sam Milton had a single for Man.
Tug Valley had just two hits in the game — singles by Tyler Chaffin and Adam Rahe — but took advantage of Man’s free passes and were aggressive on the base paths.
Tug Valley jumped ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning as Man walked five TV batters. Ethan Varney, Chaffin and Rahe all walked and scored for Tug Valley.
Man cut it to 3-1 in the second as Milton walked, stole second and scored on Cozart’s RBI double.
It was 4-1 in the third as Tug Valley’s Rahe led off with a single, took second and third on wild pitches and scored on a Man error.
Man was able to trim the deficit to 4-2 in the top of the fourth as Mullins led off with a single, stole second and third and scored on Privett’s RBI triple.
Tug Valley made it 5-2 in the fourth as Varney was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Chaffin.
Then in the fifth, Man scored three runs without the aid of a hit to tie it up 5-5.
The capper was then in the top of the sixth as Man plated four runs — including Hurley’s big three-run triple — to take a 9-5 advantage.
Bryce Nichols was Tug Valley’s starting pitcher as he went 2.2 innings and allowed one run and two hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Rahe and Varney pitched in relief.