R-F stays spotless after delay

BY RAY SCHAEFER
FOR THE DAILY INDEPENDENT

 

GRAYSON It was perhaps the first time in recorded history that 2,319.5 equaled zero.

The Russell-Flatwoods 8-10 Little League All-Stars endured 347 minutes of no baseball to create a terrific Tuesday, an 8-0 win over Morehead for the District 6 title at Grayson Little League Park.

The complete numerical rundown was daunting: a 5hour, 47-minute (347 minutes) rain delay; the 1,400 pounds of water-absorbing compound dumped on the all-dirt infield, which cost $400; the 56-mile round-trip from Grayson to Russell to buy the compound; 115 pounds of kitty litter when the compound ran out; and 1.5 inches of rain that postponed the proceedings two outs into the top of the fourth inning.

Add the diverse digits and you get — 2,319.5. The zero is the number of games R-F lost in the Area 2 and district tournaments, which manager Chris Mokas thought was a factor Tuesday.

“It’s a great group of kids, a great group of parents,” Mokas said. “Most of them have been playin’ since they were six and seven years old.”

Mokas’ son, shortstop Kyle Mokas, pitcher Connor Thacker and third baseman Hayden McGuire led R-F’s offense: Mokas, 4-for-5, two doubles, three runs scored; McGuire, 2-for-3, two doubles; and Thacker, 2for-4 and two runs batted in to go with eight strikeouts.

Rain delayed the scheduled 11 a.m. start by a little more than an hour, and umpires stopped it at around 1:20 p.m., two outs into the fourth inning. A press box discussion ensued, and umpires went with a 7 p.m. restart (Play actually began seven minutes later). R-F’s players went home during the delay.

“(I) watched TV and went outside,” Thacker said. “Disney Channel.”

Thacker’s single and the first of third baseman Hayden McGuire’s two doubles led to two first-inning runs. He struck again in the second — his two-run single and a Grayson Kiser single accounted for three more tallies. Singles from Grayson Kiser and Elijah Hankins made it 7-0. “We put ourselves in the hole early last week when we lost early,” Morehead manager Jared Crowe said. “The way they fought back, they had to play three games in three straight days.”

Cameron Crowe’s double in the first was Morehead’s lone hit. Perhaps more frustrating was getting nothing from loading the bases in the third and fourth.

The state tournament begins July 15 in Middlesboro. Tuesday, Chris Mokas talked about doing some damage.

“We have a lot of pitching, we have a lot of kids that can play interchangeable parts,” he said. “We hit the ball. That makes for a good team; plus, we play defense.”

To top it off, R-F’s Carson Blevins might come into some money. Just before the delay started, he lost a lower left canine tooth. “Talking … I don't know, to friends,” is how Blevins explained why it happened. “I was surprised. It was loose.”

Blevins thought his tooth was worth a dollar, but mom Lisa Blevins disagreed. “He’s getting big money for this,” she said. “We’ll have to ask the tooth fairy, but I think it's worth $20.”

R-FLATWOODS 230 300— 8142 MOREHEAD 000000—013 Thacker, McGuire (5), Mokas (6) and Hankins; Madden, Black (4), Owens (4) and Crowe. WP—Thacker. LP—Madden. 2B—McGuire (R-F) 2, Mokas (R-F) 2, Crowe (M).

 

Kyle Mokas

Kyle Mokas of Russell-Flatwoods 8-10 All-Stars swings high for a base hit Tuesday against Morehead in the District 6 final at Grayson.

 

Connor Thacker
Connor Thacker pitches for Russell-Flatwoods 8-10 All-Stars in the District 6 championship Tuesday against Morehead.

PHOTOS BY JOHN FLAVELL | FOR THE DAILY INDEPENDENT





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