Ripken eight's take second in state championship tourney
By By Zach Brooks, Sports Writer
The Atmore Cal Ripken League Eight year-old tournament team began their run at the state championship last weekend as they participated in the State Tournament held in Hokes Bluff, Alabama.
Atmore was one of six teams participating in the tournament for the championship. The six teams were: Hokes Bluff, Blount County, Alexander City, Atmore, Attala, and WIlson Dam.
The eight year-old team represented Atmore very well in this tournament as they finished a very respectable second place in the tournament.
Atmore began the tournament in good shape as they defeated a very tough Hokes Bluff team 10-5 in their first game of the tournament.
Atmore did all of their damage in the first and fifth innings as they scored three runs in the first inning and seven runs in the fifth to earn the victory.
Hokes Bluff only damage came in the fourth inning as they scored five runs in the inning to take the lead 5-3 before Atmore could regain the lead for good in the fifth.
Tocorian Brown, James Dean, and Tywan Dixon lead Atmore at the plate against Hokes Bluff. Brown went two for three with two runs scored and one RBI, Dean went three for three with one run scored, and Dixon went two for three with one run scored and one RBI.
Dustin Wilson, and Logan Smith also had good days at the plate for Atmore. Wilson went one for three with one run scored and three RBI's, while Smith went one for two with one run scored and two RBI's.
Atmore next game put a dent in their hopes for a state championship as they were defeated by Blount County 18-8 to fall into the loser's bracket.
Blount County scored at least two runs in every inning against Atmore in their game with their largest inning coming in the third inning when they scored five runs.
Atmore quickly fell behind 3-1 after the first inning and could never recover. Atmore biggest inning came in the third inning when they scored three runs.
Tocorrian Brown, James Dean, and Chance Jackson lead Atmore at the plate. Brown went two for three with two run scored and one RBI, Dean went three for three with one RBI, and Jackson went two for two with two runs scored.
Dustin Wilson and Logan Boatwright also had a good game at the plate for Atmore. Wilson went one for three with one run scored and two RBI's, while Boatwright went two for two at the plate.
Atmore's third game of the tournament was against Alexander City and it was probably the strangest game of the tournament.
Atmore quickly came out and established who was the better team as they jumped out to a 12-0 lead after the game's first two innings.
Then the game got weird as the rain started coming down and the umpires postponed the game until later on in the day.
But around time for both teams to resume play on the field the Alexander City coach decided to forfeit the game and give Atmore the victory 12-0.
A host of players had good games at the plate for Atmore against Alexander City. Tocorrian Brown went two for two with two runs scored, James Dean went two for two with two runs scored and three RBIs, Coty Merchant went two for two with two runs scored and one RBI, Logan Boatwright went two for two with one run scored and three RBIs, Zach Wall went two for two with two RBIs, and Stephen Rawlinson went one for one with two RBIs.
WIth their win over Alexander City Atmore earned the chance to play Hokes Bluff again in the semi-finals.
A win was not in the cards this time for Atmore as Hokes Bluff bounced them from the tournament with a 6-3 victory.
Hokes Bluff did most of their damage in the first and sixth innings as they scored two runs in the second inning and three runs in the sixth.
Atmore's biggest inning came in the fifth inning when they scored two runs to make the score 3-2 heading into the sixth inning.
Dustin Wilson and Zach Wall lead Atmore at the plate. WIlson went two for three, while Wall went two for two with one RBI.
Tywan Dixon, Tocorrian Brown, James Dean, Logan Boatwright, Todric Dale, Logan Smith, and Stephen Rawlinson all had one hit apiece for Atmore.
Atmore had a tremendous performance at the plate throughout the tournament. They finished with a combined .491 batting average as a team, and with 55 hits in 112 at bats. They also combined for 35 runs scored and 24 RBIs.
Even though they lost to Hokes Bluff in semi-final they still represented Atmore well with a second place finish.