Danville wins 12th Region All 'A' title

April 07, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

No one knew better than the Danville Admirals the rewards for winning this tournament. And no one else will get a chance to learn for at least another year.

The Admirals got the opportunity to play on a statewide stage last year, and they are one game away from going back after winning the inaugural 12th Region All "A" Classic Tuesday at Admiral Field.

They defeated Somerset 9-4 to clinch the championship of the round-robin tournament, then completed a 3-0 run through the tourney with a 12-2 win over Monticello.

Danville (4-1) is still one game away from making a return trip to Applebee's Park in Lexington. The Admirals must win a sectional game later this month against 11th Region winner Lexington Christian, which beat them three times last year, including once in the finals of an 11th/12th Region Class A tourney and again in the finals of the first statewide All "A" Classic after Danville received an at-large entry.


"We want to go back," said Danville shortstop Jeremy Potts, who was named the tournament's most valuable player after going 6-for-8 with three doubles and a triple and earning one pitching win. "And we're ready for LCA."

Danville coach Paul Morse said the chance to play LCA for the right to return to the minor league stadium will get the Admirals charged up for the sectional game.

That game will be played April 22, 23 or 24 - the two teams must work it into their schedules - and Morse said it will probably be at LCA, because both teams are playing invitational tournaments in Lexington that weekend.

"There'll be some motivation there, especially after the success we had last year," Morse said.

Ads at their best against Somerset

The Admirals were at their best against Somerset in the de facto championship game of the regional. They put up four runs in the first inning and never trailed by less than three after that.

"By far, this was our best game," Morse said.

Danville made the most of its nine hits and used good pitching and error-free defense to keep Somerset (4-2) at bay.

"We haven't played real well so far, but I think we put it all together in this game and got the win," Potts said.

It started with the offense, and that started in the first inning. Potts doubled and scored on Somerset's only error, and Davis Teater followed with a three-run home run to right-center field that gave Danville a 4-1 lead.

"I think Davis' home run was the biggest hit. That got us fired up," Potts said.

The Admirals made it 7-1 in the third inning when Deangleo Durham banked a two-run home run off the center-field scoreboard and Joey Beldon singled home a run.

Somerset scored three runs in the top of the fifth, but Danville put the game out of reach in the bottom of the inning by scoring two runs on a dropped fly ball.

Thirty-one runs in three games

Potts, Durham and Rich Witten had two hits each for the Admirals, who scored 31 runs in their three tourney games.

Beldon pitched the first five innings and earned the win. Witten, who sat out the first week of the season with an illness, threw two scoreless innings for the save in his first mound outing of the season.

In Danville's second game, Alex Gash hit a grand slam for his first career home run, Teater hit his second homer of the day and Ronnie Hawkins also homered to power the Admirals past Monticello in a five-inning game.

Gash's grand slam highlighted a seven-run fourth inning that gave Danville a 9-2 lead.

Hawkins went 3-for-3 with a homer, a double and three stolen bases. C.J. Lynn and Nate Uslin were each 2-for-2, and Deshaun Warren stole two bases.

Monticello (0-6) got no hits in three innings off Durham, who allowed one unearned run in three innings, and two hits in two innings off Lynn, who allowed one earned run.

Burgin finishes 1-2

Burgin lost 7-2 to Somerset in Tuesday's first game, and the Bulldogs finished 1-2 in the tournament after being held to three singles by the Briar Jumpers' J.J. Gill.

"We were kind of dead," Burgin coach Terry Pitman said. "One negative thing would happen, and it seemed like we'd get down."

Burgin pitcher Zack Gross allowed eight hits and eight walks and threw three wild pitches in six innings.

Somerset took control of the game with Ryan Jamison's three-run double in the fourth inning.

Josh Carey had two hits for Burgin (1-4), including an RBI single in the first inning, and Gross had the other.

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