Avery 9 and 10 Baseball Opens Tournament Play

Lane Johnson (Submitted Photo)

It was a great night for baseball on Monday as Avery hosted the opening round of district play, hosting the top half of the District 7 Tournament.

Watauga and Ashe opened play in the first contest of the evening, with Watauga shutting down Ashe after the first two innings and posting 16 runs on their way to a 16-4 victory to move them into the winners’ bracket quarterfinals.

Avery took the field next, facing off with the Wilkes National team who had defeated East Catawba to move into the opening round.  The contest got underway shortly after 7 PM with Avery batting first, hoping to jump on top early.  Jordan Lecka opened the game with a walk, but Ethan Adams of Wilkes then retired the side, striking out two in the opening frame.

Lecka then took the mound and faced some stiff competition, with a couple of errors providing a setback.  The Wilkes team plated four runs with just one hit and four Avery errors to take a 4-0 lead after one inning of play.

In the second, Deacon Heath opened the inning with a leadoff single, but a great defensive play shortened the inning when Caleb Hicks belted a ball into left field, but the Wilkes left fielder made a diving catch to record the second out of the inning.  Following Lane Johnson reaching on a walk, Adams earned his third strikeout of the night to quell the Avery threat.

In the bottom half of the inning, Wilkes poured on the offense once again, rallying to plate 9 more runs, knocking Lecka out of the contest to take a 13-0 lead after two innings of play.  Josh McClellan came on in relief and closed out the inning for the Avery All-Stars.

In the third, Adams recorded his 4th strikeout of the contest, before McClellan helped himself, legging out an infield single, and coming around to score to make it 13-1, but Adams struck out the side to close the inning and move into the bottom half.

Wilkes plated another run in the bottom half of the inning on an infield fly, with two on, making it a 14-1 advantage, and Adams struck out the side in the top of the fourth inning to earn the victory.

Wilkes will move on to face the Watauga National team while Avery will await the winner of the Lenior National/Ashe County battle on Saturday, July 3.  Adams closed the night throwing four strong innings giving up one run on two hits, walking three and striking out nine in the win.  Lecka gave up 13 runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched, only one of which was earned, scattering six hits and walking four with two strikeouts.

Best wishes to all the Little League teams as they continue on in the Little League postseason tournament.

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