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Nationals win state crown

From Staff Reports

ELKINS -- The resilient Harrison County Nationals 15-year-old team rallied to sweep Huntington Southeast in a pair of games Sunday and win the state championship.

The Nationals advance to the Babe Ruth Ohio Valley Regional Tournament, where they will join the Harrison County Americans, scheduled for Aug. 4-9 at Frank Loria Memorial Field.

In Sunday's opener, the Nationals forced extra innings with a run in the seventh and went on to a 7-5, nine-inning victory.

Chris Lake doubled in Scotty Gonzalez and Danny Sowers with the winning runs.

In the second game, Harrison County exploded for six runs in the third and rolled to an 11-1, mercy-rule win in six innings.

Bobby Oliverio had a two-run triple in the inning, and Brian Kemmerer, Chad Mullooly, Eric Moccia and Gonzalez each added singles.

Nationals coach Gooch Holbert pointed to last week's loss to the Americans, which placed his team in the state tournament and regional qualifier, as a motivator for his players.

"That was a blessing in disguise, because now we're battle-tough." Holbert said.

-- BRIDGEPORT LITTLE LEAGUE WINS: The Bridgeport Little League 12-year-old All-Stars rallied from a Saturday loss to Barboursville to defeat Ripley in the state tournament in Martinsburg on Sunday.

Justin Trippett, Justin Findley, Patrick Oliverio and Andrew Ford each homered in support of Chris Enourato's fine pitching effort.

Bridgeport plays either Elkins or Moorefield in an elimination game at 5:30 p.m. today.

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