Goodyear-Tri State Tire earned a spot in today’s championship game at the Middlesboro Little League Tournament with a 16-5 win over People’s Choice Pharmacy in the losers’ bracket final Tuesday.
Goodyear took advantage of four walks, a hit batter and three errors to score six runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back. Jabari Kyle, London Stephney, Trenton Stephney, Evan Collett, Blake Hubbard and Brandon Hubbard all reached base and came around to score in the frame as Goodyear took the 6-0 lead.
People’s Choice got one run back in the bottom of the inning as J.D. Gambrel singled and later scored on a two-out hit by Will Bevins.
Goodyear answered in the second as both Stephneys and Blake Hubbard walked and came around to score for a 9-1 lead. They pushed the lead to 11-1 in the third as Kyle, Trent Stephney and Evan Collett had hits with Kyle and Stephney both coming around to score runs.
People’s Choice didn’t go away quietly, they rallied in the bottom of the third to get back in the game. With one out Bradley Short, Bevins and Braden Ausmus all had hits with Short and Bevins coming in to score. Matthew Saylor drew a two-out walk and Carson Shumate delivered a two-run singled to right field to score Ausmus and pinch runner Keegan Frost as the People’s Choice cut the deficit to 11-5.
Goodyear put the game away with five runs in the fourth inning. T.J. Patterson, Kyle, London Stephney, Trenton Stephney and Collett all reached base and scored in the inning to stretch the lead to 16-5.
Trenton Stephney, who pitched all four innings, struck out two batters as pitched around Jacob Gullett reaching on an error in the bottom of the fourth to end it. Overall Stephney struck out five and walked three while allowing five runs on five hits to earn the victory. Stephney also led the offense with four runs scored, he had a hit, walked and twice reached on errors in the game.
Goodyear will take on three-time defending champion Overbay’s in the championship game today at 5:30 p.m. If Goodyear wins, a second game will be played at about 7:30 p.m. The Minor League Tournament is also wrapping up on the adjacent field at the same time. Following the games, trophies will be presented to the first and second place teams.