The Zebulon 13-14 National All Stars held off a feisty Louisburg team to claim the junior division title in the Tar Heel Leagues District 6 baseball tournament, held in Zebulon July 7-12.
With the win, the Zebulon National glovers earned an appearance in the Tar Heel League’s state tournament, held July 17-20 in Hickory. Zebulon was in line to face the District 7 champion Hickory All Stars.
As an undefeated team in the district final, Zebulon would have had to lose twice for the Louisburg All Stars to wear the district crown. Zebulon responded with an overwhelming 19-3 title-clinching victory after Louisburg won the teams’ first contest 8-2, forcing the extra game.
Zebulon posted four runs through two innings and added another in the top of the third to build an early 5-0 cushion. Louisburg, which had defeated the Zebulon American All-Star team 8-2 to reach the championship, answered with three runs in the bottom of the third. But Louisburg went cold on offense from that point onward while Zebulon’s bats turned red hot.
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The local All Stars added two runs in the fourth inning before sending 16 batters to the plate and reeling off 12 runs on 11 hits in the fifth to cap the scoring.
“This is the grand finale for a great group of young men that have been participating and playing baseball together since they were 7-year-olds,” coach Ken Griswold said. It marked the second time the team captured the district tournament title.
Other squads making up the 5-team tournament field were the Nash County All Stars and the Wendell All Stars. The competition began with Wendell stunning Nash County, 22-10, and Zebulon American topping Louisburg, 13-8.
The second night of play opened with a border battle that saw the Zebulon National team dig its way out of a 12-3 hole and score three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 15-14 win over Wendell. Louisburg then eliminated Nash County by way of a 16-1 decision.
The National team proved to be the better Zebulon team to start the third night, as it posted a 9-1 triumph over its American counterpart in a clash of unbeaten teams. Louisburg went on to eliminate Wendell in the late game by a score of 12-8.
The Zebulon National All Stars are Coda Brannan, Austin Braswell, Trevor Creech, Eli Dalton, Bryan Enriquez, Chris Goedgedrag, Tanner Griswold, Spencer Hicks, Alex Hocutt, Bryan Killete and RJ Pearce. Joining Ken Griswold on the coaching staff are Ronnie Braswell, Woody Brannan and Taylor Griswold.