NOLL 12's cruise to district crown

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By Brad Stephens

LA GRANGE – North Oldham Little League’s 12-year-olds crushed the field on their way to a District 2 title.

NOLL capped off a dominant tournament with a 24-2 win over Nelson County Tuesday night in the championship game at Brad Clifford Field at Walsh Park.

The 22-run win came on the heels of a 13-0 win Sunday over Nelson in NOLL’s first tournament game. NOLL also beat Nelson 16-2 and South Oldham 21-4 last week in pool play.

“They really have learned to carry themselves in a professional manner,” manager Doug Oak said. “They go about their business the way they’re supposed to and no matter what the score is, they approach the game the right way.

“We’re not trying to run the score up on anybody, but at the same time you don’t give away at-bats and you don’t let up.”

Tuesday’s game got off to a pedestrian start by NOLL’s standards. The 12’s scored two runs in the first and three in the second to take a 5-0 lead into the third inning.

Then in the third, NOLL really started mashing the ball.

Pinch hitters Caleb Jones and Ross Pfost led off with a single and walk, respectively.

Third baseman Steven Votaw then hit a three-run home run over the fence in left-center field to make the score 8-0.

“It was basically right down the middle and I just hit it,” Votaw said. “Coach tells me to take quality at-bats and hit line drives.”

After an Anthony Reynolds out, second baseman Deaton Oak revved the rally back up with a single.

Pitcher Trevor Amburgey drove Oak home with an RBI triple to make the NOLL lead 9-0.

Shortstop Austin Reed singled home Amburgey, pushing the lead to 10-0. He later scored on a Nelson error.

Pfost knocked left fielder Parker Caudill home with an RBI single. Votaw singled home Marshall Cuzick. Reynolds hit a single to score Jones.

Oak singled home Pfost. Amburgey hit a two-run single to make the score 17-0.

NOLL added runs on a fielder’s choice and a Nelson error to make the score 19-0 before the 14-run inning came to an end.

“It’s just momentum, stringing things together,” Doug Oak said. “Baseball’s just that way, especially when you have quality all the way through and you have the right approach.

“…The talk in the dugout was ‘Don’t be the the guy that makes the out, don’t be the guy that doesn’t put a quality at-bat together.’ That’s the approach we have to continue to take.”

Reed preserved the shutout in the Nelson third with a great diving stop in the hole, firing to first for the inning’s third out.

“It was a really good play,” Amburgey said. “I thought it was going to go through the middle.”

NOLL added five more runs in the top of the fourth to make the lead 24-0.

Nelson scored twice in the fourth to cut the margin to 24-2, but the game was long over.

NOLL will now get ready for the state tournament, which begins July 19 in Bowling Green.

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