By LLOYD COMBS
for the Daily Telegraph
WISE, Va. —
The Black Diamond District has long deserved the respect it covets on the baseball diamond. Tuesday it went out and earned it.
Honaker’s Tyler Hale stroked an RBI single to right field to score Haysi’s Drake Howell with the go-ahead run in the seventh, to help the BDD take a 4-2 win over the Lonesome Pine District in the FCA-LPD Challenge Tuesday night at Shupe Field.
The win gave the Black Diamond team, known as The Destroyers, second place in the tournament. The Southwest Virginia Elite defeated both the BDD and LPD squads earlier in the day to claim the title.
Honaker’s Austin Ray and Clintwood’s Dylan Dahley were locked in a classic pitchers’ duel through five innings. The BDD broke through against two relievers in the seventh, scoring twice.
Howell led off the frame with a single to right, stole second base, and moved to third on a groundout. That set the stage for Hale, who was quickly down a strike against hard-throwing left-hander Dalton Dahley.
“I knew I couldn’t get around on it,” Hale said. “I just tried to hit the ball to right field.”
“It was nice enough just to be out here. It was an honor to be asked to play in this tournament.”
Ray threw a complete-game six-hitter, striking out 14.
Hale finished with two hits in game two. Honaker’s Derek Gilbert and Matthew Hutchinson each drove in runs in game one.