VINCENNES -- The Clay County 12-year-old all-star team capped its playoff season with a tough 4-1 loss to a powerful South Lexington, Ky squad in the championship game of the Ohio Valley Regional on Tuesday night.
South Lexington rallied for four runs with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning to overcome a 1-0 deficit.
South Lexington earned its earns its fourth consecutive berth in the Cal Ripken World Series and has won three Ripken World Series championships, most recently in 2007.
Despite a disappointing loss in the championship, coach Jeff Stewart was very pleased with how his team competed.
"Seth Barrett and Logan Ames each pitched a couple of fantastic games for us," Stewart commented. "We played some unbelievable defense, you had to be there to see it. (South Lexington) hit the ball hard from the beginning, but we had kids diving and kids throwing players out from their knees and turning double plays. I was really happy with how the team competed."
The Clay County 12's had advanced to the semifinals with a win on Monday.
The No. 3 seeded Clay County squad defeated No. 6 Edgewood, 16-9 to advance.
Brayden White earned Player of the Game honors for Clay County with a double and a home run. Also for Clay County, Barrett homered and Tucker Stewart tripled and scored four runs.
Clay County defeated Tomah, Wis. by a 5-1 score to reach the championship game. Tomah downed No. 7 Hancock County, Ky., 3-0. Ethan Eckelberg and Justin Shie pitched three innings each to combine on the shutout.
On Sunday, Clay County (2-1) downed Marshall (0-3), 14-0, in four innings to take second in its pool. Tanner Knust went 4-4 and doubled for Clay County.
Several Clay County players received the Player of the Game Award as Barrett received the honor on Friday, Ames on Saturday and Knust on Sunday. On Monday, White received the award, Barrett and Stewart won the honor in Tuesday's games.
Crown Point advanced to face South Lexington by downing No. 4 South Bend Eastside for the second time in the tournament, 8-6. Crown Point led 8-2 in the sixth inning, but Brendon Chappell smacked a grand slam to pull South Bend within two. Jacob Hites led Crown Point with two doubles.
South Lexington came into the semifinals as the top seed after scoring 10 runs in the top of the fourth inning against Vincennes on Monday to eliminate the host team, 14-2, in four innings.
In pool play on Friday and Saturday, Clay County split a pair of games, dropping Vincennes by an 8-3 score in the tourney opener for the teams and then came back to drop a hard fought, 2-1, decision to South Lexington in eight innings.
The 12-year-old team will likely finish its season in the top-10 tourney at Forest Park that begins on Saturday.