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Blue Lick’ U-15 team wins another district crown

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Baseball

By Mike Farner

 OKOLONA - Just like the movie Groundhog Day, the Under-15 Blue Lick Baseball All-Stars have things happen over and over again.

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The good part of all of that it leads to wins. That was the case on Monday as coach Tommy Parker’s team won its fourth consecutive Babe Ruth District title as they smashed Germantown 13-0. That win will send the team to this week’s Kentucky State Tournament in Bowling Green starting on Thursday.

“We’ve had the same core group together for five or six years now,” Parker said after the trophy presentation on Monday at the Okolona Youth League facility. “We fully expected to win this week. Now we expect to win it (state) for a third time.”

This group of players is a true All-Star team. They do not play together as an AAU team before switching the Babe Ruth play. All of the team members played in the five-team Blue Lick League this summer, as well as with various high school teams.

“That speaks volumes for the talent in our area,” Parker pointed out. “The league has been loyal to the kids and the kids have been loyal to the league.”

Parker, who has long been associated with Blue Lick and has coached many of their All-Star teams including teams that have reached Ohio Valley Regional Tournaments, isn’t shy to say that this is the most talented group to come through the league.

Blue Lick opened the district tournament on Wednesday with a 30-1 victory over Highview. There was so much offense in this game that it had to be stretched to a second day because of a curfew at Okolona (which backs onto a residential area). It was much the same a night later as Parker’s team pounded Mount Washington 22-0.

The only tough game of the week for the All-Stars came on Saturday as they had to battle to beat Germantown 5-0 in the winner’s bracket final. Germantown rallied for the rematch, beating Hikes Point in the loser’s bracket final.

The championship game was originally scheduled for Sunday, but got moved back a day. That didn’t affect Blue Lick as they scored 12 times in the top of the first inning en route to the shortened 13-0 win.

In that championship game, Tyler Mayberry led off the game with a double that short-hopped the fence, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

“That broke their spirits right there,” Parker said. “It was two or three runs in just a few minutes.”

The totals told the story as Blue Lick had a 70-1 scoring advantage. The team did not allow hit through the first two games before Germantown had a paltry seven hits in the last two games. Parker never made a pitching change in four contests.

In the win over Highview, Tyler Mayberry was the winning pitcher as he did now allow a hit. It was the same for Josh Exton in the second game as he got the win against Mount Washington. On Saturday, Darren Harper worked the 5-0 victory. In the championship game, Tyler Capito was the beneficiary of the big first inning as he pitched the shut-out.

It really was a Groundhog Day for the All-Stars on Saturday when an odd situation caused most of the second inning to be played twice.

With two outs in the top of the second inning, Germantown picked up a single. Parker came out of the dugout and the bat that was used. The umpires conferred and then called the batter out, ending the inning. Blue Lick had a 3-0 lead at the time and in the bottom of the second, scored another run and had runners on base when tournament organizers finally got hold of Babe Ruth authorities who said that the bat was legal for 15-year old use (but not legal for 16 to 18-year old play which caused the confusion).

So, the umpires went back to the point where the original bat was disallowed. The Blue Lick run was taken off the board and play went back to the top of the second inning with two outs and a runner on first.

The Blue Lick U-15 All-Stars include: Tyler Capito, James Constant, Chance Egnor, Josh Exton, Darren Harper, Kyle Hoskins, Brandon Johnson, Patrick Malone, Tyler Mayberry, Wesley Parker, Dakota Perry, Luke Sivori and Austin Tucker.

Tommy Parker is the head coach and he is assisted by Challis Ford and Bobby Capito.