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Cal Ripken Tournament pits Atmore against Theodore

By By Zach Brooks, Sports Writer
The Cal Ripken League District Tournament began last week in Atmore on July 4th.
The Tournament included the eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve year-old tournament teams of both Atmore and Theodore, with the champion of each age group earning the chance to compete in the Cal Ripken State Tournament.
Nine year old's
The nine year old Cal Ripken League Tournament team began their games against Theodore at 1:30 p.m. on July 4.
The tournament was a little different for the nine year old team, as they would be facing live pitching for the first time after hitting off of a pitching machine all year, and their inexperience showed as Theodore defeated Atmore 12-2.
Atmore would never get close after the first inning, as Theodore would score four runs in the second inning and their final seven runs in the third inning to round out their scoring.
Tanner Kirk earned the loss on the mound for Atmore. He pitched three innings: allowing three hits, twelve runs, six walks, and two strikeouts.
C.J. Pierce itched one inning for Atmore allowing no hits, no runs, no walks, and had no strikeouts.
Atmore did not earn a hit in the game off of Theodore pitcher Sterling McKinley. Gavin Salter and C.J Pierce scored the only runs for Atmore.
Atmore played their second game the next day at 8p.m. They knew that they had to win this game or thier would be no state tournament.
Atmore improved dramatically in the second game but it was not enough as Theodore used a strong third inning to pull away from Atmore and win the game 8-5.
Atmore looked much better at the plate in the second game as they managed five runs on five hits.
Devante Brown, Brett Wilkins, and Marshall Rolin lead Atmore at the plate. Brown went two for three with one run cored and one RBI, Wilkins went one for three with two RBI's, and Rolin went one for three at the plate with one run scored and one RBI.
Gavin Salter, C.J. Pierce, and Tanner Kirk round out the scoring for Atmore as they scored one run each.
Brett Wilkins earned the loss on the mound for Atmore. He pitched two innings: allowing two hits, three runs scored, two walks, and had no strikeouts.
Marshall Rolin and Clay Kirby also pitched for Atmore. Rolin pitched three innings allowing one hit, four runs, four walks, and no strikeouts, while Kirby pitched one inning allowing no hits, one run, no walks, and no strikeouts.
Ten year old's
The ten year-old Cal Ripken team began thier tournament at 11 a.m. on July 4 against the Theodore 10 year-old team.
The ten year-old team came into the game with high hopes of winning and going to the State Tournament, but Theodore put a dent in those hopes as they defeated Atmore 18-4 to earn the first victory in thier series.
Atmore could only muster one hit and four runs off of Theodore starting pitcher D.J Turo.
Cameron McGhee lead Atmore at the plate as he went one for one with one run scored.
Micheal Mitchell, Garrett Walley, and Ryan Linam round out Atmore's scoring as they all managed to score one run apiece.
Haden McGhill earned the loss on the mound for Atmore. He pitched four innings allowing six hits, ten runs, six walks, and had three strikeouts.
Jon Dean pitched one inning for Atmore allowing three hits, eight runs, two walks, and no strikeouts.
The Atmore team did alot better in their second game with Theodore but it was not enough as Theodore managed to earn a 13-2 victory and the chance to go to the State Tournament.
Atmore managed to increase thier hit total from one hit in the first game to three hits in the second game.
Jacob Rackard, Gary Barnes, and Chase Godwin all got hits for Atmore. Rackard went one for one with one run scored, Barnes went one for two, and Godwin went one for two with one run scored.
Rackard earned the loss on the mound for Atmore. He pitched four inning: allowing seven hits, thirteen runs, three walks, and had two strikeouts.
Eleven year old's
The eleven year-old Cal Ripken tournament team began thier tournament against the Theodore eleven year-old tournament team at 1 p.m. on July 4.
The eleven year-old team came into the game with high expectations of winning and earning the right to go to the State Tournament.
Theodore put a dent into thier dreams in the first game of thier series, as they defeated Atmore 6-0 behind the strong pitching of starter Brandon Oshab.
The first three innings of the game did Atmore in, as they allowed two runs in each inning to give Oshab the cushion he would need to earn the victory.
Skyler Peacock pitched well for Atmore even though he got the loss on the mound. He pitched four inning allowing five hits, six runs, three walks, and struck out one.
Jordan Hastings also pitched well for Atmore as he pitched one shut-out inning.
Rocky Ramieri and Jemorris Curry lead Atmore at the plate. Ramieri went one for two for Atmore, while Curry went two for two.
The next game for Atmore was on Friday at 8 p.m. They knew that they had to win this game to keep thier State Tournament hopes alive.
Atmore played thier hearts out and got a great pitching performance from Jordan Hasting on the mound, but if was not enough as Theodore managed to squeeze out the 5-1 victory.
Theodore did all of thier damage in the third inning, as they managed to get all of thier five runs off of Hasting in the fifth.
Jordan Hastings kept Atmore close by having a tournament high eight strikeouts. He pitched four innings: allowing three hits, five runs, two walks, and the eight strikeouts.
Skyler Peacock pitched one inning for Atmore allowing no hits, no runs, one walk, and two strikeouts.
Atmore scored thier only run in the top of the sixth inning, as Jemorris Curry scored on a Kendrick Staples single.
Hastings and Rocky Ramieri lead Atmore at the plate in the second game. Hastings went one for four with a walk, while Ramieri went one for three with a walk.
Staples also had a good game at the plate for Atmore. He went one for one and had Atmore's only RBI.
Twelve year old's
The twelve year-old tournament team began thier series with Theodore at 3:00 on July 4.
They came into the game hungry to play and ready to earn the right to play in the State Championship Tournament.
Theodore put a big bump in Atmore's road to the State Tournament when they defeated Atmore 11-1 in the first game of thier series.
Theodore did most of thier damage in the last three innings of the game, as they scored three runs in the fourth inning, three runs in the fifth innings, and three runs in the top of the sixth inning.
Travis Vickery earned the loss for Atmore on the mound as he went the distance for Atmore. He pitched all six innings allowing eight hits, eleven runs, one walk, and eight strikeouts.
Dustin Hall and Demarcus Johnson lead Atmore at the plate in the first game. Hall went one for three, while Johnson went one for one with Atmore's only run of the game.
Atmore's second game against Theodore was played on Saturday at 11 a.m. They knew that they needed to win this game to stay alive in the series and force a deciding third game.
A win was not in the cards for Atmore however, as they lost a heartbreaker to Theodore 3-1.
Lawrence Thomas pitched a awesome game for Atmore on the mound. The only runs he allowed were in the third inning, when he allowed three runs(two on a homerun), and no more throughout the game.
Thomas pitched all six innings of the game allowing three hits, three runs, one walk, and a team-high nine strikeouts.
Thomas also lead Atmore at the plate in the second game. He went three for four at the plate with one RBI.
Hunter Milliken, and Dustin Hall also had good games at the plate for Atmore. Milliken went one for three at the plate, while Hall went one for one.
Blake Walker and Tyler Brown also contributed at the plate for Atmore. Walker went one for two at the plate, while Brown scored Atmore' only run of the game.