VALLEY STATION – It has been awhile since veteran baseball coach Pat Young has had a Blue Lick team advance to the state tournament.
And although the team will be entering play on Thursday off a pair of district losses, the Blue Lick U-12 All-Stars will be ready for action.
The local All-Stars lost in the winner’s bracket final against West Louisville and was then eliminated by Okolona, which it had beaten earlier in the tournament.
Despite the loss, Blue Lick was already assured of a spot in the Western Kentucky State Tournament, where they will open play at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
In the winner’s bracket final, Blue Lick had done something no other team had done – forced West Louisville to play a full game. Blue Lick lost 10-5.
But coming back 30 minutes later in the mid-day heat on Sunday proved to be too much as Okolona stayed alive with the victory.
In the first inning, Lucas Schank battled with his control, walking the first three batters. Then came an RBI single and an RBI groundout.
Another walk led to Young calling on David Guerrero in relief. He walked the first batter and a squeeze bunt worked to score another run.
Guerrero made a spectacular catch on a bunt attempt. Catching the ball in the air, the pitcher fired to third base to complete the double play and end the inning.
Down 4-0, Blue Lick showed some immediate life by scoring two runs in the top of the second.
With two outs, Dylan Scott singled. Patrick Wells reached on an error and three consecutive walks to Austin Gearlds, Schank and Jacob Morrison plated the two runs.
In its opener, Blue Lick defeated Southwest Louisville 11-1. Guerrero got the victory on the hill as he limited the opponent to just one hit.
Offensively, Blue Lick had 10 hits with Austin Dalton and Christian Eastridge hitting doubles and Zane Wolfe hitting a home run.
On Saturday, Blue Lick would defeat Okolona to advance to the winner’s bracket final on Sunday.
The Blue Lick 12 All Stars include Austin Dalton, Joseph Daugherty, Christian Eastridge, Austin Gearlds, David Guerrero, Tyler Hurst, Jacob Morrison, Mark Parker, Lucas Schank, Dylan Scott, Jordan Vance, Patrick Wells and Richard Zane Wolfe. Young was assisted by Richard Wolfe and Ivan Tischendorf.