By Chad Dixon
The Smiths Station Dixie Youth 8U All-Stars entered the District 10 title game June 27 averaging 12.3 runs per game and were undefeated in the tournament at Drury Fields. Their dominance continued with the run-ruled Dadeville’s All-Stars in a 15-5 championship game that ended in four innings.
Jacob Harris, Jaiden Johnson, Edward Martinez and Hannah Sheppard were all a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate in the championship game, scored a combined nine runs and drove in a combined seven runs. Harris and Max Fossett began the top of the first with back to back singles up the middle. With runners at second and third, Johnson grounded out to first to score Harris and Fossett would come around on an error. Martinez doubled and scored during the next at-bat when Sheppard singled to left center.
The 3-0 Smiths Station lead evaporated in the bottom of the inning. Dadeville scored three runs on four consecutive hits to tie the game. Neither team scored in the second inning. In the bottom of the frame, Sheppard threw a ball from shortstop to Johnson at first base to record the first out. Cooper Savarese caught a line drive in left and Davis fielded a ground ball and completed the put-out to Johnson to end the inning.
Smiths Station’s offense came alive in the top of the third when the team scored seven runs, taking a 10-3 lead. Harris started the outburst with a single. Fossett reached on an infield error. Johnson and Martinez hit consecutive singles. Sheppard singled home Johnson and James Benton hit a two-run single. Brayden Blakeney and Ben Fossett both singled and scored later in the inning. Blake Turberville capped the inning with an RBI single.
Dadeville continued to struggle offensively with a 1-2-3 bottom of the third. Davis accounted for two of the put-outs in the inning. Smiths Station added five more runs in the top of the fourth to extend the lead to 15-3. Savarese and Chase Foxworth singled to begin the inning. Savarese scored when Blake Jernigan grounded out to first base. Foxworth then scored on an errant throw.
Martinez delivered a two-run triple later in the inning and drove in three total runs in the championship game. Sheppard scored Martinez with an infield single. She also had three RBI. With one out and a runner at first, Sheppard ended the game when she fielded a grounder at short and threw the ball to Johnson to complete the double play and the route of Dadeville.
Smiths Station and Dadeville have advanced to the state tournament that will begin July 5 in Dothan Ala. The winner of that tournament will receive a berth to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series in Lumberton, N.C. The Smiths Station team is coached by Junior Johnson, Jason Jernigan, Justin Sheppard and Ashley Sheppard.