Vinton O-Zone team earns spot in state tournament


The Vinton O-Zone All-Stars are headed to the state tournament. The Vinton baseball team for 12 and under boys will play in Brookneal this Friday at 2 pm in the opening round of state play.

Vinton will head to Brookneal as the runnerup team from District 7. Last weekend at the Moyer Complex in Salem the Vinton stars lost to North Roanoke twice in the double elimination District 7 tournament. North Roanoke will also play in the state this weekend, opening Friday at 4 pm.

The Vinton team had an exciting tournament in Salem, opening with a 12-11 win and ending with a 12-11 loss. Vinton opened with Glenvar and led 7-1 before the Glenvar team rallied to make it close. The first game spanned two days, as a thunderstorm delayed the game Wednesday and it was concluded on Thursday as Vinton held on for the 12-11 win.

Vinton’s second game was against North Roanoke, and the locals dropped a 10-0 decision after North Roanoke broke open an early pitchers’ duel. The All-Stars then rallied in the losers’ bracket, beating Craig County and Salem by “slaughter-rule” to earn another crack at North Roanoke on Monday.

Monday’s game was one of the more exciting games of the entire tournament. Down 4-2 after three innings, Vinton scored eight in the top of the fourth to take a 10-4 lead. North Roanoke then scored five in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 10-9. Vinton would score one run in the fifth, only to have North Roanoke take the lead with a three spot in the bottom of the inning, and that proved to be the final score.

Mount Pleasant also competed in the O-Zone tournament and also lost to North Roanoke twice. MP and NR opened the tournament at 4 pm last Wednesday and North Roanoke took a 4-1 win in a well-played game.

Mount Pleasant bounced back with two wins in the losers’ bracket, beating Glenvar and Franklin County. That put them back against North Roanoke on Sunday with a chance to make the championship round, but Mount Pleasant was eliminated at that point.

Vinton also had a team competing in the AAA District 7 tournament, for 10 and under boys. Vinton opened with a win over North Roanoke on Wednesday, followed by a bye to the winners’ bracket final. Salem beat Vinton in that game, and the locals were eliminated by Franklin County on Sunday in the losers’ bracket final.

Franklin County went on to play Salem for the championship, needing to beat Salem twice to take the district. It didn’t happen, as Salem won 16-5 to win the district and advance to the state tournament in Appomattox, beginning July 21st.