FERN CREEK - The Under-10 Mount Washington Baseball All-Stars got the good draw in the District 10 Tournament at Fern Creek last week and then took full advantage of that, sweeping to a pair of wins to claim the second straight title for the league at this age level.
The District 10 Tournament had just three teams this season (having lost Bullitt County from last year’s field) and the draw pitted Fern Creek against Highview in the opening game. Fern Creek won that game 20-0 to face Mount Washington in the winner’s bracket final. That game went to Mount Washington 9-2.
That set up the same schedule on Sunday. Fern Creek eliminated Highview 19-0 this time to set up the rematch with Mount Washington. On the hot and steamy afternoon, Mount Washington rolled to the title with a 7-4 win.
In the championship game, Mount Washington exploded with five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take control of the contest. Coach Craig Simpson’s team had a safe lead until the sixth and final inning. Up 7-2 when the frame started, Mount Washington gave up two runs and Fern Creek had the bases loaded when pitcher Garret Simpson got the final out.
Will Elder was the winning pitcher for Mount Washington as he worked the first three innings. Simpson then pitched the last three frames.
The Mount Washington offense finished with seven hits including a double and triple by Jarret Wantye as he finished with three runs driven home. Two of the runs were driven in by Simpson who had a pair of doubles.
The quick start was big for Mount Washington as it once again forced Fern Creek to play from behind.
“No question about that,” Simpson said of the early advantage. “Recently we’ve been jumping out quickly. Last week we had a 14-0 start in a game. We go through droughts at times. They made some good plays, but we need to keep the pressure on teams.”
The first game on Saturday came a day after play had been rained out the previous night.
This time, Fern Creek scored first with a run in the top of the second, but Mount Washington took control with five runs in the bottom of the frame. After another in the third, Mount Washington sealed the 9-2 victory with three runs in the fifth frame.
The win on the mound went to Zach Hill who worked all six innings and allowed only four hits.
Mount Washington had nine hits in this game including three off the bat of Seth Myers. One of the hits by Myers was a double and he finished the game with four runs driven hoe. Simpson also had two hits in the win.
When the All-Stars came together after the league season, Simpson thought he had a special group.
“I’m not surprised at all,” the coach said of winning the first step in the Cal Ripken post-season ladder. This is a good team. These kids have been together for a long time already.”
The win moves Mount Washington to the East Kentucky State Tournament that begins on Wednesday at St. Matthews. Mount Washington will play at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
A week before the district tournament, Mount Washington played in a tournament in New Albany that also included Fern Creek and Mount Washington had a better finish in that event. In fact, Mount Washington reached the championship game before losing 8-7 to Germantown.
“After our last two tournaments, I like our chances,” Simpson said of the state tournament. I think we can compete with anybody. It’s just tough to say when you are talking about 10-year olds.”
Members of the Under-10 Mount Washington All-Stars include: Caleb Debold, Connor Abnee, Trevor Collins, Will Elder, Jacob Thomas, Jared Ranalli, Garret Simpson, Seth Myers, Adam Warner, Caleb Marshall, Zach Hill and Jarret Wantye.
Craig Simpson is the team’s head coach. He is assisted by Brian Marshall and Lowell Myers.