King Little League grabs two district titles

By Robert Money Jr. - rmoney@thestokesnews.com
Eli Spainhour bats during district play for King all-stars. - Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News
Gus Santoro makes a play at second base for the 12U King all-star team. - Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News
Tyler Moran fields and throws a player out from the shortstop position. - Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News
Carson Bowman pitches during district play for the 11U King all-star team. - - Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News
King 11U All-Star District 2 Champion - - Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News
King 12U All-Star District 2 Champion - - Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

King Little League had two all-star teams to win District 2 titles last week. The 11U and 12U squads went undefeated during tournament play and claimed the championships with stellar pitching and timely hitting.

The 12-year-old team breezed past South Little League 9-0 in game one and then beat Winston-Salem Nationals on their home turf 7-1 the next night. They faced rival East Surry in game three and tallied an 8-2 victory. In the championship game, King beat the Nationals again 1-0 to win the District 2 title and advance to the state tournament in Cherryville, N.C. on July 14.

“It’s exciting to see how this group of 12 kids have gelled and formed a team,” said coach Tracy Moran. “Right now we’re playing some very good baseball and it’s been a true team effort from the starters to the subs. Throughout the district tournament we had one error in the field and that has been the key to us winning district. In order to do well at states, we have to continue to play error free defense and continue to battle at the plate. It will be a very hard road, but we have confidence they can rise to the occasion.”

Members and coaches of the 12U team are: Brandon Bowman, Caiden Mendenhall, Dylan Gastley, Eli Spainhour, Gus Santoro, Jackson Carroll, Jacob Hooker, Mason Middleton, Ryan Lemons, Tyler Moran, Tyler Pegram, Riley Tuttle, coaches Tracy Moran, Josh Tuttle, Delaney Santoro, and Ben Hooker.

The 11U team ended up with a first round bye, but smothered Davie Little League 10-0 in their first game. Game two against Winston-Salem Nationals at Kernersville Little League field was a 16-5 smashing in four innings. In the championship game against the Nationals, King won 13-3 for their third mercy rule game during the district tournament.

“I am so excited for these boys and being a part of these accomplishments is an amazing feeling,” said coach Gary Bowman. “We are playing some great baseball. Our guys are hitting the ball and hitting it hard. We had a few weeks to practice with this group of kids before our first game and it paid off. We had to move some kids around and had them playing in different positions than what they were used to.”

The coach said his players were eager to learn the new positions.

“The boys practiced hard for two weeks before the tournament and built a strong bond with each other and it showed on the field. We’re going to have to show up ready to play the best we ever have. We have to eliminate errors, hit the ball and be smart on the bases in order to advance during the state tournament.”

The 11U all-stars are slated to play on July 14 in Wilson, N.C. at the J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex.

Members and coaches of the team are: Avery Mendenhall, Will Spainhour, Spencer McKinney, Spencer Boles, Carter Spainhour, Mikah Webster, Kahle Lickfield, Abe Jennings, Eli Edwards, Conner McKinney, Carson Bowman, Jackson Roscoe, and Jordan Cave, coaches Gary Bowman, Mike Edwards, and Eric Lickfield.

Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.

Eli Spainhour bats during district play for King all-stars.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Eli-Spainhour.jpgEli Spainhour bats during district play for King all-stars. Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

Gus Santoro makes a play at second base for the 12U King all-star team.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Gus-Santoro-making-play-at-2nd.jpgGus Santoro makes a play at second base for the 12U King all-star team. Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

Tyler Moran fields and throws a player out from the shortstop position.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Tyler-Moran-making-play-at-SS.jpgTyler Moran fields and throws a player out from the shortstop position. Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

Carson Bowman pitches during district play for the 11U King all-star team.
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_King-LL-Bowman.jpgCarson Bowman pitches during district play for the 11U King all-star team. Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

King 11U All-Star District 2 Champion
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_King-LL-2.jpgKing 11U All-Star District 2 Champion Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

King 12U All-Star District 2 Champion
https://www.thestokesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_King-LL.jpgKing 12U All-Star District 2 Champion Courtesy Photos | For The Stokes News

By Robert Money Jr.

rmoney@thestokesnews.com