By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
PRESTONSBURG — The Knox County 11 & 12-year-old All-Stars saw their hopes of winning a state championship come to an end by dropping a 13-4 decision to Marion County to finish 1-2 in pool play.
Knox County jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but Marion County scored 12 unanswered runs to pull off the nine-run win.
“It’s a tough loss for us,” Knox County coach Gary Bain said. “We jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but couldn’t hold on. We made some errors just like in our other loss and it came back to hurt us.”
Knox County started off on the right foot during pool play with a 3-2 win over Fleming County, but an 18-8 loss to Anderson County made the Marion County game a must-win for Bain’s squad.
“We knew we needed to win this game to get into tournament play, but we just fell short,” Bain said. “Marion County has a good team.
“The big thing is when you get to state, you’re going up against travel teams and I believe every team in this were travel teams,” he added. “I believe we were the only team that wasn’t a travel team and that makes a big difference — that’s what we ran into.”
Despite seeing his team get eliminated, Bain said he was pleased with how far his Knox County All-Stars advanced.
“Overall, I am very happy,” he admitted. “I believe this is the first time a Knox County team made the state tournament in the 12-year-old division and it was the first time they had gotten a win at state play. That’s really big for us.
“I really thought our bunch overachieved,” Bain added. “For us to win the Area and District was very big. Before the District Tournament started, I thought it would come down to either Corbin or North Laurel, but our kids came ready to play and won. I’m really pleased with everything our kids have accomplished over the summer.”
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
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