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Americans advance at state tourney

From Staff Reports

KENOVA -- The Harrison County American 13-year-old All-Star team advanced in the state tournament by beating the host team, Ceredo-Kenova, 11-1, in five innings on Monday.

Derek Bowen went the distance, allowing one hit and striking out six. His performance was a big factor in the win, American coach Dave Sturm said.

"He limited their opportunities and took them out of the game," Sturm said.

Defensively, catcher Nathaniel Zirkle threw out three runners and helped shut down the Ceredo-Kenova offense.

The Americans took a 2-0 lead after the first inning.

In the third, Harrison County scored three runs. Bowen had an RBI single and scored on a single by John Lilly. Lilly stole second and third and scored on an error.

Harrison County scored five more times in the fourth. Bowen had a two-run triple, while Zirkle, Lee Hamric and Lilly each had an RBI.

The Americans ended the game via the 10-run mercy rule in the fifth. Zirkle led off with a double, advanced to third on an error and scored on a groundout by Bowen.

"Offensively, our running was a factor," Sturm said.

"It put a lot of pressure on the defense. And our kids made contact. We only had four strikeouts."

The American play again at 5 p.m Wednesday.

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