Little League Baseball: Yard Goats, Flying Squirrels grab early wins

McDowell County Little League celebrated Opening Day of the 2019 season Saturday at its ballfield located at Big League Camp. The opening ceremonies included the induction of the inaugural class of the McDowell County Little League Hall of Fame. Members include Allen and Dave Medford, Mike Price, Bobby Blake and the late Doug Murdock. Here, Hall-of-Famers and their families are honored prior to the games. Josh Davis/

McDowell County Little League kicked off the 2019 season last weekend at Big League Camp.

Here is a recap of the action so far in the first week of play:

Yard Goats 6, Grasshoppers 3

The season kicked off with the Yard Goats picking up a 6-3 victory against the Grasshoppers.

Dakota Aldridge earned the win on the mound, scattering three runs on four hits. Aldridge struck out 13 batters and walked nine. 

The Yard Goats scored three runs in the top of the second inning followed by two more in the fifth and one in the sixth. Aldridge (double, RBI), Isaac Gilliand, Logan Pesina, Ethan Widener (2RBIs) and Johnny Mabry (RBI) had one hit apiece. 

Caleb Mikula had two hits for the Grasshoppers, including an inside-the-park home run, and Arlo Wright was 1-for-3 in the game.

Flying Squirrels 3, River Bandits 0 (8 innings)

The final game of Opening Day turned out to be a marathon as the Flying Squirrels pushed across all three of their runs in the eighth inning to beat the River Bandits 3-0.

In that decisive frame, Ryler Norman and Zeb Street walked. Hunter Brown (2-4, 2RBIs) then singled in both runners and Anthony Mackey (2-4, RBI) followed up with an RBI single. All of the runs scored in the eighth cage with two outs. Reid Waugh and Drue Rose added one hit each.

Hayden Shelton went 2-for-4 for the River Bandits. Nick Wilson singled as well in three plate appearances. 

Grasshoppers 10, Iron Pigs 6

The McDowell County Little League Grasshoppers earned their first victory of the season Monday, holding off last season’s champions, the Iron Pigs, 10-6 at Big League Camp.

Ahead 4-1 after three innings the Grasshoppers scored five times in the fourth to break open the game. Christian Elliott tripled with one out. Arlo Wright then singled in Elliott. Then, Job Marsh belted a two-run home run for the big hit in the inning. Caleb Mikula and Mason Wiseman added one hit each in the game for the Grasshoppers.

The Iron Pigs gradually chipped into that large deficit, scoring three in the fourth and two more in the fifth to get back to within a 9-6 margin. 

Mason Brewer tripled in the fifth and scored on a throwing error, and then Alex Barnes singled and came around to score on fielding and throwing errors on the play.

The Iron Pigs finished with five hits overall, two of them from Barnes, two more from Brewer and one hit from Aiden Gallion.

River Bandits 11, Yard Goats 3

A stellar pitching performance from the River Bandits staff led the way in an 11-3 win against the Yard Goats Tuesday afternoon. 

Levi Boone, Hayden Shelton and Donovan Felix combined for a three-hitter, striking out a combined 12 batters. Boone earned the win, tossing four innings and allowing one earned run on one hit, striking out 10 and walking three batters. 

Hits were at a premium in this game. Felix, James Boggs (RBI) and Boone (2RBIs) had one hit apiece. 

Dakota Aldridge had the one hit for the Yard Goats as he singled in the fifth inning.





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