It took just 19 minutes.
The Russell-Flatwoods Little League age 11-12 team needed those 1,140 or so seconds Monday to defeat Fleming County, 16-5, and complete its win in the District 6 tournament at Fleming County Recreation Park.
“Great kids,” winning coach Brent Blevins said. “Easy to work with, great parents.”
For most of the team, 2012 is the last season in the 11-12 age bracket, but there's one more trip to the state tournament beginning July 21 in Prestonsburg. Yesterday was Pitcher-third baseman Casey Hensley's third district crown, and he said the newest one was the most satisfying.
“I'd like to play a few more years,” Hensley said.
Monday meant the first championship for center fielder-pitcher Wes Patterson. He lives in Wurtland and only received a residency waiver this year.
“It feels important to me,” Patterson said. “I’ve never been to state, but I’ve heard (teammates) talk about it.”
Fleming County coach Randy Crump had fond memories, too.
“I’ve been involved with this team since T-ball,” he said. “I’ve seen them improve each year. I'm proud of each and every one of them.
In a word, Russell-Flatwoods’ offense was overwhelming — 97 runs in six games and just 14 allowed (13 of them to Fleming County).
“They had fun playing baseball; they all love it,” Blevins said.
There were many stars. Starting with second baseman Seth Atkins, who hit two home runs Sunday and was 5-for-6 with four runs batted in and five runs scored over the last two games.
Atkins said it was the first time he pounded two long balls in the same game.
“Both (were) fastballs,” Atkins said Sunday. “The first one was down the middle, the second one was inside.”
Russell-Flatwoods right fielder Caleb Frye wasn't too bad, either: 6-for-8 (including 4-for-4 in Saturday's 13-8 win) for the weekend, with two RBI Sunday. Patterson hit four doubles in the Fleming County wins, and shortstop Troy Gillum was 4-for-7 with a triple and six runs scored.
Every player on the roster had at least one hit. Hensley's 4-for-4 game Sunday and Monday atoned for Saturday's 0-for-4.
“I was upset, but I told myself I could get some hits,” Hensley said.
Sunday's lightning forced postponement of the second game until Monday, but it didn't deter Russell-Flatwoods. Hensley's double, Cameron Floyd's single and Darick Carter's double led to the final two runs in the fifth inning.
As strong as he was at the plate, Patterson was maybe tougher on the mound — six strikeouts and just two hits over two innings Monday.
“I think I was nervous,” Patterson said. “I just needed to get done.”
Russell-Flatwoods will have two players — center fielder Kyle Blevins (broken arm he suffered practicing run-downs) and pitcher-third baseman Jaeden Layne (broken right pinkie while lunging to tag a runner) — in the lineup in Prestonsburg.
After the win and team mothers taking pictures, Blevins gave his players a gift — no practice today. To Hensley, the best games are ahead — including a trip to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
“We have a chance to go farther than state,” Hensley said. “We're a good team.”
R-FLATWOODS 263 32 — 16 17 2
FLEMING CO. 005 00 — 5 7 4
Hensley, Patterson (3) and Brinkman, Atkins (3). Fryman, Clark (2) and Crump. W-Hensley. L-Fryman. 2B-Gillum (R-F), Bates (R-F), Ashcraft (FC), Atkins (R-F), Hunt (FC), Patterson (R-F) 2, Whitt (R-F), Hensley (R-F), Carter (R-F). HR-Atkins (R-F) 2.
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