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The weather may be less than perfect, but it has not dampened the spirit of the Legends baseball team, a 12-and-under select team.
The Legends, coached by Greg Carr, recently captured the championship at the Second Annual Early Bird Tournament at Northern Kentucky Sports Park.
The Legends opened the tournament with a 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Buckeyes as they got a strong pitching outing from Grant County's Hunter Epperson, who pitched three shutout innings, striking out four and allowing one hit. Gallatin County's Chase O'Connor pitched two-and-two-thirds innings, striking out three, walking one, allowing one hit and one run, while Owen County's Jarrod Ball earned the save.
In the second game of the tournament, Grant County's Tyler Carr helped lift the Legends to a 15-0 three-inning mercy-rule victory over a team from Chicago, IL. Carr faced the minimum nine batters, striking out five with no walks. Grant County's James Simons tripled to drive in the final two runs of the game.
Against Flash Baseball, from Cincinnati, the Legends again came up with a solid pitching performance, as Ball threw a complete game, six innings, allowing two earned runs, scattering eight hits, walking none and striking out four. Grant County's Logan Cummins was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases. Grant County's Aaron Hicks played well at third base, and Epperson drew three walks and three stolen bases. With the score at 4-2 in the fourth inning, Gallatin County's Nolan Wilson and Tyler Carr each came up with doubles to secure a 7-2 victory for the Legends.
In the championship game, the Legends fell behind 4-0 in the first inning, but Carr found his way on the mound, going five-and-two-thirds innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out 10.
The Legends rallied in the top half of the sixth inning on a suicide squeeze by Hicks to tie the game at 4-4. After an infield hit and stolen base by Cummins, Grant County's James Simons singled to lift the Legends to a 5-4 tournament title clinching victory. While the Legends got a solid pitching performance and timely hits, it was the glove of Gallatin County's Mason Wilson, who came up with two huge catches, that proved to be vital.
"Our youth coaches need to realize we have kids who can play with anybody if you give them the opportunity. We have proved that. With this group of kids, the future of high school baseball success at Grant County looks bright. It is my goal, as a coach, to make that happen and for this group of young men to live up to the name we have taken, legends," Gregg Carr said.