Opp ends 13-year-olds' season in final game
By By Michael S. Hill
Atmore's 13-year-old All-Star baseball team fell short in its bid to win the Babe Ruth League Area 2 Tournament and advance to the state tournament.
Host team Atmore fought its way out of the loser's bracket to face Opp, the tournament champions, in the final game.
In the first round of the double-elimination, three-team tournament, Opp ambushed Atmore 16-4.
After getting dumped 4-0 by Opp earlier in the day, Monroeville faced off with Atmore Saturday evening in an extra-inning marathon in which Atmore edged Monroeville 9-8.
Monroeville came out swinging, notching two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Atmore's Josh Morgan led off the top of the second with a double and later scored on a grounder. Monroeville answered with one in the bottom half and one in the third to go up 4-1 after three innings.
But Atmore knotted the game at 4-4 with as Morgan, Owen Moore and J.R. Hall each rounded the bases in the top of the fourth. The teams traded a run in the fifth and sixth innings, and headed to the seventh, the game was still tied at 5-5.
Atmore appeared to have the game sealed as they punched out two runs in the top of the seventh. Tyler Wilkins drew a lead-off walk and Josh Montel followed with a clutch single. Both players scored later on grounders. But Monroeville stayed alive with two runs in the bottom half to send the game to an extra inning.
In the top of the eighth, Morgan singled and Michael Rolin drew a walk. Hall scored Morgan on a single, and Tyler Wilkins scored Hall on another single.
Monroeville managed a run in the bottom half, but Atmore held on to take the 9-8 victory and advanced to the next round to again square off with Opp.
Atmore ran out of gas in Sunday's rematch with Opp, getting swamped 17-2.
The game was close through three innings, with Opp leading 2-0 headed to the fourth. But Opp scored four in the fourth, and broke the game wide open with three runs in the sixth and seven runs in the seventh inning.
Montel and Norris Brooks scored for Atmore.
Opp advances to the Babe Ruth League State Tournament, to be held July 20-23 in Huntsville.
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