Clay LL headed to state tourney


ROSEMOUNT — The Clay Little League Baseball All-Stars recently captured the District 11 championship and will play in the state tournament, which will begin on Saturday (July 13) in Upper Arlington.

“They are so excited to go to the state tournament,” said head coach Kylon Crabtree. “And they also don’t know what to expect. And I really don’t know what to expect either. We are going to treat it like another tournament. But I think the level of competition will be elevated tremendously. But the kids are excited and ready to play and they deserve to be there.”

The 8-9-10-year-old team from Clay is one of eight teams remaining in Ohio, and has an All-Star record of 5-1.

“Every kid on the roster has come up big at some point in this tournament,” Crabtree said. “It’s been a blast to coach this team because every player has contributed to our success so far.”

The team knocked off Coal Grove 7-6 after trailing 6-1 last week, highlighted by a basehit by Stephen Osborne that scored Blaine Thacker for the win.

Clay continued to advance in the tournament, and defeated Rock Hill 2-0 — capped off by a rare triple play to end the game and secure victory.

Rock Hill had runners on second and third base in the bottom of the sixth inning with no outs.

A fly ball that appeared to be over the left-fielder’s head was snagged by Brylon Martin, who then threw the ball to Korbin Crabtree to double off the runner at third base, who then slung the ball to Ryker Mault at second base for the out and triple play.

“What an amazing play to win the game,” Crabtree said. “These kids just don’t give up. It’s one of the best plays I’ve seen in baseball period. And I’ve been around baseball for a long time.”

Crabtree noted that the team has seen dominating pitching from Reed Brooks and Grant Sinclair.

“We’ve also had huge hitting from Koen Breech, Kent Spradlin and Bryson Lancaster,” he added “We’ve had a total team effort all through this tournament. They just seem to know when to make a big play.”

Championship day came down to Clay and Rock Hill once again, with Clay needing one win to capture the championship in the double-elimination tournament.

Rock Hill won the first game 10-4, and thus forced a winner-take-all second contest.

But Clay rebounded, and won 13-7 to capture the District 11 championship.

“This is what it’s all about,” Crabtree said. “These kids just like to play baseball and have fun and to get to the state tournament is a huge accomplishment.”

Clay Little League

8, 9 & 10 Roster

1~Korbin Crabtree

5~Reed Brooks

6~Grant Sinclair

9~Bryson Lancaster

10~Brylon Martin

16~Kent Spradlin

23~Ryker Mault

27~Koen Breech

32~Blaine Thacker

61~Stephen Osborne

Coaches: head coach Kylon Crabtree, assistant coach Chase Mault, assistant coach Tim Erwin

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