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Atmore 10-year-olds go down swinging

By By Michael S. Hill
The Atmore 10-year-old All-Star baseball team went 1-2 in the Cal Ripken Baseball State Tournament held last weekend in Attalla.
Atmore squeezed by Blount County's Wilson Dam 5-4 in extra innings in their first game of the tournament.
In the top of the first inning, Dustin Hall reached base on a bunt and Clint Lassiter drew a walk. Two batters later, Matt McGhee scored them both with a triple.
Wilson Dam notched one run in the fourth and two in the fifth to draw ahead at 3-2. In the top of the sixth inning Atmore regained the lead at 4-3. A.J. Beachy's triple scored Tyler Brown and Elliot Faircloth.
But Wilson Dam scratched out a run in the bottom half to send the game to a seventh inning. In the top half of the inning, McGhee smoked his second extra-base hit of the game, this time a double, and later scored off a clutch Lawrence Thomas RBI-single.
Host team Attalla swept through the tournament undefeated at 3-0, but faced its toughest test against the Atmore gang.
In the bottom of the first, Hall, Thomas, Faircloth and Ethan Brooks all scored to give Atmore the 4-0 advantage.
Attalla managed a lone run in the top of the third, but Atmore got it right back in the bottom half to make the score 5-1.
Atmore went cold thereon, while Attalla came back with two in the fourth and fifth innings to tie it at 5-5, and one run in the sixth to pull out the win.
The loss forced Atmore into a rematch with Wilson Dam in the loser's bracket. This time Atmore came up short, falling 14-3 to Wilson Dam.
Although Atmore allowed but four hits in the game, 10 errors doomed the outcome. Wilson Dam went on to lose to Attalla in the next round.
Attalla advances to the Cal Ripken Southeast Regionals which will be held July 28-August 2 in Winchester, Va.