West Virginia's state champion from Barboursille has something to prove today against undefeated North Carolina after knocking off rival Virginia 6-4 Saturday in the Section II losers bracket final at the Southern Region Little League tournament.
West Virginia has averaged more than seven runs in three tournament wins. Friday's lone loss _ a 2-0 defeat Friday to North Carolina _ has manager Ron Keaton thinking about revenge in the rematch today.
"I thought we had the better team Friday," Keaton said. "The kids will be ready for them again (today)."
South Carolina took its revenge in a 1-0 win in Section I, edging the same team that sent it into the losers bracket on Tuesday.
Undefeated Alabama faces South Carolina at 2 p.m. today at Arnold S. White Stadium. The West Virginia-North Carolina game follows at 5.
Virginia didn't go down easily. The team from Richmond scored three times in the top of the first, but West Virginia bounced back quickly when, with the bases loaded, rightfielder Brian Knisely hit a shot over the fence in the bottom of the inning.
But the umpires ruled Knisely missed third base, so it was called a three-run double after an appeal.
West Virginia scored the winning run in the third on Alex Whitt's two-out, two-run single. Pitcher Ryan Keaton singled and came around on a trio of wild pitches in the fifth that gave him a 6-3 lead.
"We hit the baseball today and Ryan was hitting his spots," manager Keaton said. "I didn't worry much."
Dax Adkins and Keaton each had three hits for West Virginia. Justin Bristow, Jeffrey Beck and Michael Bowman collected a pair of hits for Virginia.
"Pitching and defense is what brought us here," South Carolina manager Jimmy Farotto said. "Six innings was a lot to ask in this humidity, especially of the pitcher and catcher. I was really concerned."
His son, Alex, threw a two-hitter. The potential tying run reached third base with two outs, but he worked out of it.
South Carolina scored its run in the top of the first on an outfield error that allowed Vince Hamilton to score from first base after a single from Devin Campbell.
Tennessee's Ryan Hill tossed a two-hitter in defeat. Ryan Gaines had both Tennessee hits.