Kip Dial launched two home runs and pitched three scoreless innings as the Adair 12U All-Stars advanced to the District 5 Championship last night with a 10-0 win over Marion County.
Competing in the winners’ bracket finals, Adair’s pitching and defense held the talented squad from Lebanon completely in check.
“Our defense has been stellar,” Adair head coach Robbie Harmon says. “Even if we make an error, and we’ve had a few, we wipe it away and go make the next [play]. They tried to bunt on us last night, and Branson Minton comes charging in from third and makes a phenomenal play to throw the kid out at first. Our outfielders are making all the routine plays, being aggressive and chasing down fly balls.”
Adair built a seven-run lead through just two innings, thanks in large part to Dial knocking in four with two-run homers in both the first and second inning. Ty Burwash and Zane Greer also collected two hits apiece to help lead a balanced attack at the plate.
Dial was just as impressive on the mound, surrendering two hits and no runs through the first three innings. Jay Harmon proved just as confounding to Marion hitters, giving up a single hit over the last two innings to slam the door shut.
“I think the biggest thing is that we’re buying in to believing in ourselves and believing in each other,” Harmon says of his team’s success. “That’s something we’ve talked a lot about—our pitchers go throw strikes and then there’s seven people behind you that will go make plays. We’re exactly where we need to be. It’s been a good week for us, but we’re going to be in a dogfight tomorrow, I promise.”
Tomorrow, Adair plays for the championship against the winner of tonight’s losers’ bracket finals between Marion County and Washington. Undefeated so far in the tournament, Adair will have two shots, if needed, to earn the district title. The first game is set for 9 a.m.
Harmon wishes to thank the many fans and supporters to have made the treks to Springfield this week to support the boys.
“We appreciate the parents and support we’re getting,” he says. “These are 12-year-old boys living in 12-year-old worlds, and we couldn’t do it without mamas and daddies and grandparents and aunts and uncles.”
Adair 10U falls to Washington County
The younger Adair All-Stars also competed in the winners’ bracket finals of their district tourney Thursday, falling 7-2 to tournament host Washington County.
The boys won’t have long to dwell on the loss, as they’re back in action tonight in the losers’ bracket finals. Adair will play Marion County at 5:30 p.m.
A win means they’ll be back tomorrow as well, getting another shot at Washington County. Since Washington has not yet lost, Adair would have to beat them twice to take the district crown.