Another Martinez Evans Little League team advanced to its state competition Wednesday night.
After losing in the District 6 Junior League tournament opener on Sunday, the MELL Americans completed their long journey with a sweep that took six hours to complete against the host Elbert County squad Wednesday night.
“Nerves got the best of them in the very first game and we had to fight our way back through the loser’s bracket for the rest of the tournament,” said manager Trevor Adkins.
Needing two wins for the title, the Americans and Elbert County started at 6 p.m. The Americans trailed 11-10 in the bottom of the seventh inning before rallying for two runs for the 12-11 victory at 9:30 p.m.
They blew the doors off their opponents in Game 2, winning in a run-rule shortened five innings, 18-0, right about midnight.
“Once we got past that first game, we just opened up on them,” said Adkins.
The District 6 title was the fourth consecutive for the junior league team, which now heads to the state tournament beginning July 12, hosted by Harris County Little League.
Through the week, two pitchers stood out for Adkins; Nyle Grove and Ben Cox.
Monday night, the Americans got their first win, mercy-ruling the Washington-Wilkes squad 10-0 in five innings. Grove had 13 strikeouts as the Americans scored six runs in the first three innings. Cox led the team with four hits in as many trips to the plate. Cox pitched the complete-game shutout in Wednesday night’s finale.
Offensively, Adkins said it was a total effort.
“All the boys hit well, we hit well as a team,” he said.