Caleb Stidham

Caleb Stidham helped his team finish with a winning record after stopping Boyd County in its finale.

After the Morehead 9-10-year-old Little League All-Star team started the district 6 tournament 0-2, Coach Charlie Graham shifted his goal from a state tournament birth to finishing with a winning record.

His team met that challenge winning its final six games, capped off with a 6-0 victory over Boyd County on July 6 in Grayson.

“Two things happened,” said Graham. “Our pitchers were throwing strikes and we started hitting the ball. We got more comfortable at the plate and gained confidence, and the Big Mo (momentum) swung our way.”

Morehead broke open a scoreless game in the third with two runs. Dustin Graham and Dillon Cole got on base to set the stage for Tanner Hopson, whose two-run single was all the scoring Morehead needed.

“Tanner got a couple of walks and big hits,” said Graham.

Morehead padded its lead in the fourth.

Sebastian Taylor walked to get things started. Jordan Tipton singled to give Morehead two base runners. Then, Alex Cecil cleared the bases with a two-run triple that extended the team’s lead to 4-0. Cecil later scored on a passed ball.

“Alex Cecil had a big triple,” said Graham.

In the sixth, Carson Plank walked and worked his way around the bases to score Morehead’s final run.

“I think we ran the bases well and were more aggressive,” said Graham.

“Alex Cecil and Tanner Hopson stepped up and hit the ball well.”

Morehead finished with six hits to grab a slight edge over Boyd County, which finished with five. Hopson notched two singles. Tipton and Cole also each added a single. Cecil tripled and Taylor capped off the team’s hits with a double.

Brandon Lewis was exceptional on the mound. He went the distance to earn the victory. Lewis allowed five hits and struck out 10 in the shutout.

“Brandon pitched a great game,” said Graham. “Ten strike outs out of 18 outs, that’s impressive. He just got in rhythm and had good location.”

Graham was equally impressed with the team’s fielding.

“Our defense really strengthened up,” he said, referring to the team’s last three games. “We were getting the lead runner (out) at second base on a ground ball and we nearly turned a double-play once. It was a whole other team when we started hitting the ball.”

Morehead finished the District 6 tournament with a 3-2 record. Boyd County ended the week 0-5.

The season is not yet over for Graham’s 9 and 10 club. It is preparing for the Arby’s Classic the final weekend of the month at the city park, where several teams will come to Morehead for a tournament.

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