Playing with limited practice time and against tough competition, all four All-Star teams from the Henry County Youth Baseball League were eliminated after two rounds in their district tournaments.
The HCYBL squads were split into four teams — 9-year-old, 10-year-old, 11-year-old and 12-year-old players — and competed in district tournaments hosted by either Shelby County, Scott Country, Georgetown or Frankfort. With the postseason ending just a few weeks ago and July 4th falling last weekend, most of the teams had just a couple of practices with the entire squad. It proved costly.
“We didn’t have but two weeks to get ready,” said Scottie Payton, who coached the Henry County Astros in the Major League Division and was the head coach for the 11-year-old All Stars. “Next year, I’m hoping we can pick the players a little bit earlier so they can get used to playing with each other and we can get in more practice time. It was a challenge.”
The Henry County Yankees won the HCYBL Major League Division for the 11-12 players with a close win over the Eminence Rockies, 8-7, in the championship contest last month. In the Minor League Division for the 9-10 players, the Campbellsburg White Sox came from the loser’s bracket to defeat the Pleasureville Bulldogs in back-to-back games, 12-1 and 8-6, for the title. Afterwards, the league split into four all-star teams, and picked the coaches and the top players to represent Henry County.
The 12-year-old All Stars played at Frankfort last week, losing to Shelby County, 11-5, in the first round last Wednesday night and Scott County, 7-0, in the bottom bracket on Thursday. The squad was coached by Brad Steverson, who was the head coach for the Yankees.
“Shelby and Scott had really good teams, we just let a couple of innings get away from us,” Steverson said. “Overall, we hit the ball well. We couldn’t hold things together for a few innings, though.”
Henry was in front of Shelby in the opener, 5-0, heading into the third inning. But Shelby outscored Henry 11-0 during the rest of the game to advance in the winner’s bracket. From that point forward, including the Scott game the following night, Steverson said his team did not play well. The squad will play another tournament in Frankfort July 22-25 and could possibly pick up a few more games.
Meanwhile, the 11-year-old All Stars played in Georgetown, losing to Frankfort last Thursday night and Scott County, 10-0, on Friday. Payton was the head coach. The 11-year-old All Stars will not play any more games this summer.
“I didn’t think we played very good that first game (Frankfort), but we looked a lot better in the second one (Scott),” Payton said of his team’s turnaround. “We played that second game with a lot of heart, just came up short.”
The 10-year-old All Stars played at Shelby County, losing to Scott County, 11-7, last Wednesday night and Spencer County, 16-6, on Thursday. The squad had just one practice with the entire team before the tourney. They were coached by Travis Robbins, who was the head coach for the White Sox.
“Against Scott, they were supposed to be one of the top teams in the state and, honestly, we should have won that game,” Robbins said.
The game was tied 2-2 heading into the fifth inning when Scott scored nine runs. Henry added five more runs but came up four short. Robbins said the turning point was when Henry had two outs on Scott in the fifth inning and two errors allowed a pair of runs to score. It snowballed from there.
“Then, it carried over to the Spencer game. We looked like a completely different team,” Robbins said. “Basically, the first game everyone played really well and the second one everyone played really bad.”
The 10-year-old All Stars are trying to host a 10-and-under tournament at Harry Hill Park the weekend of July 24 if enough teams are interested, and will play in a tournament in Trimble County starting Aug. 1.
The 9-year-old All Stars, the youngest of the group, played in Scott County starting Friday night. They lost the opener, then lost to Shelby County in the loser’s bracket the following day to end the tournament. They were coached by Ricky Payton, who was the head coach for the Eminence Rockies. He could not be reached for comment.
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