Cool Hand Luke
- Updated: July 3, 2016
Robertson just misses cycle as Maryville 8-under claims weekend’s second title
Maryville’s Britton Johnson slides into second during the District 6 championship game on Saturday. Photos by Keith Driver. For more photos from the game, please visit our Photo Store.
By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row
Luke Robertson finished a home run shy of the cycle on Saturday.
The Maryville Little League 8-under All-Star never got the chance to finish it off. The Maryville coach-pitch team finished it early, defeating their McMinn County counterparts, 11-5, in the District 6 tournament championship game at Maryville.
The district crown was the second for Maryville Little League on the weekend, the 10-under All-Stars defeating McMinn, 6-3, for the title on Friday.
The championship is a good feeling after a season of hard work, Maryville coach Jon Dockery said.
“We just try to get these kids better and playing the way they can play,” he said. “All I’m trying to do is get them in the right place.”
Robertson opened his account with a first-inning single, adding the double an inning later, the triple in a five-run Maryville fifth that put McMinn up against the run rule.
Ben Dockery, a standout for Maryville defensively at second base, had a 3-for-3 day with three runs scored for the champs. Noah Hardin added a single and a pair of runs as eight Maryville players found their way to the plate at least once.
Fittingly, Robertson gloved the game’s final out with a nifty grab in right field.
Dockery got Maryville off to a fast start, doubling down the left field line as the game’s lead-off batter. Colton Whaley singled him home for a 1-0 lead after a half inning. An inning later, Maryville hit the gas.
Britton Johnson, Braden Littleton, Cade Barton, Hardin and Dockery all boarded and scored, Dockery’s 2-RBI double to center the inning’s big rip. Barton singled a run home as Maryville turned to the bottom of the second with a 6-0 lead.
McMinn pulled a pair runs back in both the third and fourth innings.
Jesse Holden, single, and Dax Pennington boarded and scored to trim the deficit to 6-2 after three. Damien Miller, single, and Beau Harbin, a deep drive to left, collected the RBI.
An inning later, Leo Dills, double, and Tucker Ladd, single, reduced the ground to make up to 6-4, with Jaxon Hope punching an RBI-single through the Maryville defense. Key for the home nine was McMinn’s inability to find very many such holes.
Defensively, Maryville was solid throughout, highlighted by the Jake Farmer/Dockery double play, Farmer gloving a line drive at third, turning quickly and firing to Dockery at second to double off a runner who’d left early.
“We practice double plays a lot,” Ben Dockery said. “I knew there was a man on second. He didn’t think (Farmer) caught the ball.”
Farmer looked quickly left after the catch.
“I saw Ben covering the base,” he said, delivering an impressive, accurate throw for the out.
Dockery, Robertson, Whaley, Luke Owens and Hardin got Maryville the necessary runs in the fifth to force a big inning from McMinn in the bottom of the frame. Pennington singled his away aboard and got one of the runs home, only to have Robertson strand runners at second and third with the catch in right to end the game.
“It felt pretty good,” Robertson said. “I didn’t know it was over. When I caught it and they said, ‘Ball game,’ I said, ‘Oh my gosh!’”
Maryville Coach-Pitch All-Stars: Ben Dockery, Luke Robertson, Colton Whaley, Luke Owens, Tripp Everett, Angus Kirkland, Brody Sparks, Britton Johnson, Jake Farmer, Braden Littleton, Cade Barton, Noah Hardin.