• 72°

Tourney ends after two

By By Michael S. Hill
Advance Staff Writer
Atmore's 12-year-old state champs ended their season with an early exit from the double-elimination Cal Ripken Southeast Regionals held in Florence.
After being drubbed by Florida 10-0 in the first round, Atmore lost a heart-breaker to South Carolina's state champs 7-6 in the final inning.
After a scoreless first inning, South Carolina broke into the scoring column in the top of the second inning, notching four runs. Atmore responded with two runs in the bottom of the third. Charles Dailey singled and Brandon Arnold followed with a walk. Jeffrey Taylor then doubled to bring home Dailey and Arnold and move Atmore to within 4-2.
After a scoreless fourth, Atmore took the lead 6-4 with four runs in the fifth. Dailey and Arnold led off the inning with walks. Taylor notched another RBI with a sacrifice fly, scoring the speedy Dailey from second. Chris Andrews belted a double to score Arnold, and Brannon Sanspree singled to score Andrews. Calvin Hartley then singled to score Sanspree for their last run of the season.
South Carolina took advantage of two costly Atmore errors in the sixth inning to score three runs and take the win.
In the first round, Alabama ran up against the Florida state champs. Riding strong pitching, Florida blanked the Atmore fellas 10-0 and held them to just three hits in the game. Atmore never advanced a player past second base.
Florida struck for two runs in the top of the first inning, but were shut out over the next two. They again scored twice in the fourth to go ahead 4-0, but blew the game open with four runs in the fifth. They added two meaningless runs in the sixth.
Florida pitching simply dominated Atmore bats, recording 10 strikeouts while giving up just one walk.
Brandon Arnold singled in the first for Atmore, and Jeffrey Taylor singled in the second. Miller McCaster singled in the third. Brannon Sanspree drew the walk in the second.