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By Mark Clark
Phenix City’s 10U Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball All-Star team did not play as long as it would have liked in the 2019 World Series being held at the Idle Hour Sports Complex through today. Rockville, Va., the Southeast Region Champions, eliminated Phenix City from the tournament on Monday 8-2.
The loss to Rockville was the second loss for Phenix City during elimination play. Phenix City won all three of its pool play games and entered bracket play as a No. 1 seed. The other loss in bracket play came Sunday night to Mid Atlantic 5-2.
Phenix City’s team was 13-3 for the postseason. The team won its district title and placed second in the state tournament.
Phenix City took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Rockville. Hudson Campbell scored on a passed ball. But, Rockville scored five runs in the third inning, one in the fourth and two more in the sixth to lead 8-1 as Phenix City stepped up for its final at-bat. Asher Long walked and scored on a single by Cooper Favors to cut the margin to 8-2. Phenix City could not add any more runs and suffered the elimination loss.
Carson Carswell was 1-for-1 at the plate to lead Phenix City. Campbell was 2-for-3 while Boston Brown and Trey Claridy were both 1-for-2.
Tyler Claridy took the pitching loss for Phenix City. He went two innings, allowed four hits, four runs and struck out four.
Phenix City’s first loss of the tournament came in the opening round of elimination play, 5-2 to Mid Atlantic. Phenix City scored first with a run in their first at-bat. Asher Long walked and later scored on a passed ball.
Mid Atlantic used two walks, a double and a single to produce three runs in the third inning. Phenix City cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning. Favors walked and scored on a Carswell double.
Mid Atlantic scored twice in the top of the sixth to secure the victory at 5-2.
Gavin Clement and Carswell led Phenix City at the plate as both went 1-for-1.
Campbell took the pitching loss for Phenix City. He went three innings, allowed two hits, three runs and struck out three.
In pool play, the Phenix City team played possibly the three most exciting games of the tournament in beating Indiana, North Dakota and New Jersey. The three opposing teams scored two total runs against the Phenix City pitching staff.
In the opening game of the tournament for Phenix City, the team defeated Indiana 1-0 in 13 innings. Phenix City used four pitchers and they combined to throw a three-hitter and struck out 21 Indiana batters. Campbell started the game and left after 2.1 innings. He allowed no hits and struck out five. Trey Claridy tossed the next 6.1 innings and allowed two hits while striking out seven. Clement came in to get the final out in the ninth inning and recorded a strikeout. Favors finished the game, allowing a hit and striking out eight.
After threatening to score in the 10th, 11th and 12th innings, Phenix City pushed across a run for the win in the 13th inning. Carswell began the inning with a single. Sam Laney then doubled to put Carswell at third. Colton Head was walked intentionally to load the bases. Jaxon Smith ended the game with a walk-off single past the third baseman.
Favors was the winning pitcher in his relief role. Laney was 2-for-3 and Smith was 2-for-5 as the only two Phenix City players with multiple hits.
Because rain had forced the first game to a morning contest on the second day of the tournament, Phenix City had to play twice that day. In the second game, Phenix City beat North Dakota 4-1. All the game’s runs came in an extra inning. In the top of the seventh inning, Phenix City scored four runs.
Carswell walked to start the inning. Carswell went all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt by Laney. Head reached base on a bunt single. Carswell was held at third. Smith flew out to left field for the second out of the inning. Head stole second. Carswell scored when the North Dakota attempted a throw to third. Tyler Claridy singled and advanced Head to third. Claridy stole second. Asher Long reached on an error that scored Head. Claridy moved to third on the play. Claridy scored on a wild pitch. Trey Claridy singled which scored Long. That gave Phenix City a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, North Dakota scored a run to make the final score 4-1.
Laney was the winning pitcher for Phenix City. He went two innings, gave up one hit, a run and struck out five. Favors got the save, going one inning and striking out three to close out the game. Grey Garner was the starter for the game. He went four innings, allowed two hits and struck out six.
Head was 1-for-1 at the plate to lead Phenix City hitters. Laney was 1-for-2. Tyler Claridy, Garner, Favors and Campbell were each 1-for-3. Trey Claridy and Long were both 1-for-4.
Phenix City closed out pool play with a 2-1 win over New Jersey. Clement was the winning pitcher. He went four innings, allowed three hits and recorded four strikeouts. Brown pitched the final two innings to earn a save. He gave up three hits, a run and struck out two.
Phenix City took the lead in the fourth inning with the game’s first run. Laney singled and scored later in the inning when Clement singled. Phenix City added another run in the fifth inning to lead 2-0. Long walked and scored when Favors reached on an error.
New Jersey scored a run in the sixth to make the final score 2-1. New Jersey scored the run on a two-out single. They tried to tie the game on the same play, but the second runner was tagged out at the plate to end the game.
Tyler Claridy, Clement and Laney each went 1-for-2 to lead Phenix City hitters.