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Elks topples Doddridge for Championship

by Frank Tate


(July 2) Clarksburg Elks 482 relied on fundamentals Wednesday to defeat Doddridge County 8-3 and win the Harrison County Babe Ruth championship at Frank Loria Memorial Field.

"We bunted the ball a couple of times to get them off track," Elks coach Joe Romano said.

"The boys hit the ball and played defense, and if you do that you're going to win."

The Elks took an early lead by scoring four runs in the top of the second.

Three consecutive walks loaded the bases with one out.

Scott Ross followed with a chopper to third, but a wild throw to the plate allowed Steve Otto and Kurt Skasik to score.

After Andrew Knight bunted for a single, James Funk's two-run single to left made it 4-0.

Doddridge got back into the game with three runs in the third. Dave Hoskinson and Matt Bartlett had RBI singles.

But that was all Doddridge would get, as Joe Moore dominated over the final four innings. The right-hander pitched seven innings, scattering seven hits and striking out nine.

Doddridge starter T.B. Bailey was equally tough on the mound, but Otto's two-run homer in the top of the seventh ensured the Elks' perfect 16-0 season.

"It was a high fastball and I swung at it and hoped it would clear the fence," Otto said.

"This was a great way to end the season. Now I'm going to focus on all-stars."

Funk recalled his team's trip to the finals last year, which ended in a disappointing loss.

"So," Funk said, "we were looking for a little redemption this year and got it."

First baseman George Shehl was equally impressed with the Elks' season.

"It's been a heck of a year for us," Shehl said.

Despite the loss, Doddridge head coach Guss Kelley was optimistic.

"We didn't play well but the kids gave it their all. That's all you can ask for."