By Mark Clark
12 U teams advance to state
Both of Phenix City’s 12U all-star teams will begin play in the Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball State Tournament today in Sylacauga. The teams finished first and second in the recent district tournament. Phenix City White won the district tournament by defeating Phenix City Red in the title game, 11-1.
“If we continue to play for each other and pitch well, we will see ourselves going far in the tournament,” White team coach Matthew Erickson said.
Phenix City White defeated Alex City 10-0, Talladega 16-0, Sylacauga 13-1 and Phenix City Red 11-1 to win the title. Phenix City Red lost to Sylacauga 13-11 to start the tournament and then beat Talladega 10-1, Childersburg 20-4 and Sylacauga 10-1 before dropping the title game to Phenix City White.
“We have a solid group of boys we are taking to State this week. We are capable of playing with anyone when we play our game. Confidence, focus and playing for each other are the keys for us,” Red coach Brandon Woodham said.
Phenix City White used the combination of pitchers Levi Pinder and Braden Hudson for a no-hitter in its opening contest with Alex City, 10-0. Pinder tossed the first three innings while Hudson went the final four. Phenix City White had nine hits inn the game with Mason McCrain and Briggs Cameron each having two-run home runs. Briggs threw a one-hitter and struck out seven as Phenix City White collected its second win of the tournament, 16-0 over Talladega. The White team racked up 16 hits, led by Hojo Dean who was 3-for-3 with one RBI and he scored two runs.
In the third win of the tournament for the White team, Brantley Rothrock and Tyler Sykes teamed up for a one-hitter in a 13-1 victory over Sylacauga. Rothrock did not allow a hit over two innings and Sykes allowed one hit. Pinder was 2-for-2 at the plate with three runs scored and one RBI.
In the 11-1 championship victory over Phenix City Red, the White team used three pitchers – Seth Erickson, Carson Scott, and McCrain. Dean was the leading hitter with a 2-for-3 performance with two RBIs.
“No matter how far we go this year, the boys on this team will be mentioned more in the years to come,” Erickson said of his team.
After losing to Sylacauga to start the tournament, the Red team defeated Talladega 10-1 with Jaxon Dunn getting the win. Clayton Messick was the winning pitcher against Childersburg in his team’s 20-4 win. Justice Baldwin was the winning pitcher against Sylacauga in Red’s 10-1 victory that sent the team to the championship game with Phenix City White.
In the tournament, Messick was 9-for-17 with 12 runs, 13 RBIs, five stolen bases, and five home runs. He had three homers against Childersburg. He had two grand slams, a three-run homer, and a pair of solo home runs.
Bryce Pointer was 4-for-9 with seven runs and eight stolen bases. Jordan Balkcum was 5-for-12 with seven runs and four RBIs. Justice Baldwin was 3-for-10 with a home run, four RBIs, and four runs. Tristan Lyles was 3-for-9 with four runs and four RBI. Connor Woodham was 1-for-2 with three walks and two RBIs.
6U team wins district title, heads to state tournament
Three games, three wins and Phenix City’s 6U Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball League all-stars are on their way to Theodore to play in the 2019 State Tournament. The tournament, a double elimination event, will begin tomorrow.
The 6U All-Star team sent a message in its first game of the district tournament to let the rest of the teams know it was serious about claiming the title. Yes, the team won the first game by a 10-run margin, but it was its defensive play that sent the message. The youngsters, playing in their first season of Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball, turned a double-play – something that few of the older squads were able to do during their district tournaments.
The double-play, from shortstop to second base to first base, went from Hudson Favors to Tanner Claridy to Kinley Rasmus.
Phenix City won that first game 25-15 over Sylacauga National in Sylacauga. Brayden Shay, Camden Williams, Favors and Claridy were each 3-for-3 at the plate for Phenix City. Shay had an inside the park home run and Williams had a double. Evan Milligan and Cayden Cofield were each 2-for-3 for Phenix City. Milligan had a double and a triple in the victory.
Phenix City beat Sylacauga American 20-10 in the second game of the tournament for the local youngsters. Favors and Williams were both 3-for-3 again for Phenix City. Creek Copeland, Colton Woodham, Ryan Jackson, Billy Duel, and Rasmus were each 2-for-2. Woodham had a double in the victory for Phenix City.
Phenix City defeated Sylacauga American in the championship game, 21-11. Wyatt Kreisler, Rasmus, Milligan and Favors were each 3-for-3. Noah Newman, Williams and Shay were each 2-for-3. Williams had a double for Phenix City.
Defending 9U World Champions sweep 10U district
Expectations were high for the Phenix City 10U White Cal Ripkin Jr. Baseball All-Star team when it headed into the district tournament last week. And the expectations were high for a good reason. The 10U White squad had 12 of the 13 players who won the 9U World Series last season in Jensen Beach, Fla.
The team did exactly what was expected as they swept three games in the district tournament to earn the title and advance to the state tournament – the highest level the team may compete in because of its automatic berth in this year’s World Series which will be played at Phenix City’s Idle Hour Sports Complex in August.
Phenix City routed Childersburg 11-0 to open the tournament and then beat Alex City twice, 6-5 and 9-5, to win the title. The team will now head to Mobile for the State Tournament which begins tomorrow at Westside.
“We did not pitch as well as we can in the district. We won with good defense and hitting. Usually, we win with defense and pitching. We will go into the state tournament with a bull’s-eye on our backs because of what we did last season. We won everything except a state title. We came in second in the state and then won the region to get to go to the World Series. This year the state is as far as we can go because we get an automatic berth in the World Series that we will be hosting. We really want to win the state title, but we will have to play our best to do that,” Assistant coach Ron Nelson said.
Boston Brown and Sam Laney teamed up to toss a shutout in the first game of the tourna-ment against Childersburg. Brown went three innings, allowed one hit and struck out five. Laney went one inning, did not allow a hit and struck out two. Brown was the winning pitcher for Phenix City.
At the plate, Gray Garner and Tyler Claridy were both 2-for-2. Claridy had a double and Garner drove in four runs. Laney was 1-for-1 with a double and scored three runs. Gavin Clement was 1-for-1 with a double and two RBIs.
Phenix City scored its winning runs in the first inning when it scored a pair of runs. With two outs, Hudson Campbell singled and moved to third on a pair of passed balls. He scored on a single by Garner. Laney, who walked after Campbell reached base, went to second on a passed ball and scored on Garner’s single as well.
Phenix City scored a pair of runs in the second inning and two more in the third, In the fourth inning, the local youngsters scored five runs to make the final score 11-0.
In the second game of the tournament for Phenix City, the 10U squad defeated Alex City 6-5. Campbell started the game on the mound for Phenix City and went three innings, allowed two hits, four runs and struck out seven. Garner relieved Campbell for the final three innings. He allowed three hits, one run and struck out one. Garner was the winning pitcher.
Asher Long led Phenix City at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance. He had a pair of doubles and a triple. Cooper Favors was 2-for-4 with a double.
The winning run for Phenix City came in the top of the fifth inning when they turned a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead. With one out, Garner singled. Carson Carswell and Trey Claridy followed with walks to load the bases. All three runners scored on passed balls.
Laney started the contest on the mound and allowed two runs on no hits. Brown relieved Laney and went the next five innings, allowed four hits, one run and struck out four. Trey Claridy closed the contest, pitching the last inning, allowing two runs on two hits. Brown was the winning pitcher.
Tyler Claridy was 2-for-3 to lead Phenix City’s hitters. Carswell was 1-for-1. Cooper Fa-vors, Campbell and Cotton Head were each 1-for-2.
Phenix City trailed 2-0 after one inning and 3-2 after two and a half innings. In the bottom of the third, Phenix City took the lead for good, scoring two runs to lead 4-3. The Phenix City team added two more runs in the fourth inning and three in the fifth to lead 9-3. Alex City scored twice in the sixth to make the score 9-5.
In the bottom of the third inning with two outs, Campbell walked, Brown walked and Garner reached base on an error. Campbell scored on a passed ball while Brown scored on the error that allowed Garner to reach base.
Phenix City Red All-Stars placed third in the district and will advance to the state tournament. The team defeated Sylacauga 5-3 to start the tournament, lost to Alex City 15-5, beat Talladega 19-1 and beat Childersburg 15-10 in the district.
7U stars squeak past Sylacauga twice with good defense
Phenix City’s 7U Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball all-stars are the district champions and will now head to Lineville today to begin play in the state tournament. The 7U stars are one of nine local teams to earn spots in various state tournaments by winning or placing in the top three of district play.
Phenix City’s seven-year-olds defeated the host Sylacauga all-stars twice to earn the district title. Phenix City won the first game with Sylacauga 7-5 and then won the title with a 6-5 victory.
“We did not hit the ball as well as we know the kids can, but they played great defense to help us win the district title,” Coach Stewart McWhorter said. “Our defense played exceptional. We had kids make some very good plays when we needed them most. We also ran the bases well to pull out our wins. We had some close games with Sylacauga.”
Sylacauga reached the championship series needing to win twice to get the title. Sylacauga defeated Alex City in the first game of the tournament and advanced to play Phenix City in the winners’ bracket. After losing to Phenix City 7-5, Sylacauga dropped back to the losers’ bracket to face Alex City a second time and won again. That put them in the title series with Phenix City with them needing two wins to get the title. Phenix City needed one win and got it with its 6-5 victory.
Ridge Copeland and Elijah Baldwin both went 3-for-3 at the plate for Phenix City in Game 1 with Sylacauga to lead their squad. Copeland had a triple and two singles with two runs scored. Baldwin had a pair of doubles. Maddox Money and Levi McWhorter were both 2-for-3. Money had two doubles while McWhorter had a triple and a single. Van Richards had a home run for Phenix City in the victory.
Phenix City took the victory when it scored four runs in the third inning to take a 6-3 lead. Copeland, Baldwin, Money and Richards each scored a run in the inning. Copeland scored in the fourth inning to give Phenix City an insurance run.
In Game 2 – the championship game – Phenix City got 2-for-2 performances from Rhett Roberts, Carson Elhard, Richards, and McWhorter. Richards had two doubles. McWhorter had a single and a double. Elhard and Roberts both had a pair of singles.
With the score tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the third inning, Roberts droved in Richards for what would be the winning run.
The game went one more inning before being called due to a time limit. The teams at this level play six innings or 90 minutes.
“Brayden Green caught a pop foul with runners on that ended a threat in the championship game. It came at a critical point in the contest. We had a couple of kids make some key defensive plays for us in the tournament – Richards and Copeland were a couple of them,” McWhorter said.
8U stars win district title
If you work hard, you reward will come. That is what happened for the Phenix City 8U All-Stars of the Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball League at the recent district tournament. The team won the title and will now advance to the state tournament in Muscle Shoals that begins today.
“I do not think anyone practices as much as we do. In fact, I know they don’t. This group of kids has come a long ways in just three weeks,” Coach Nathan Walters said of the squad.
A year ago, according to Walters, the all-star team won just one game at the district level and came home short of making the trip to the state tournament. This year, however, the squad has already won four games – quite an improvement over a year’s time.
“We are proud of what the kids have done. Now, we have to go to the state tournament and field the ball well, play as a team and run the bases extremely well to have a chance to win that title. We are going to work hard to try to do that,” Walters said.
Phenix City’s 8U team opened the tournament which is machine pitched with a 15-6 rout of the host team Childersburg. Cason Long, Grey Walters and Cason Peterson were each 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Phenix City’s batters.
In Game 2 of the tournament, Phenix City got another victory via a rout, beating Sylacauga 14-6. Cooper Singletary was 3-for-3 to lead Phenix City at the plate. Nolan Groce and Corbin Smith were each 2-for-3.
The third game brought Phenix City’s third rout, an 18-3 victory over Alex City. Mason Brooks was 3-for-3 to lead Phenix City at the plate. Cion Wilson was 2-for-2 and Lawson Booth went 2-for-3 for Phenix City.
In the championship game, Phenix City had its closest victory of the tournament – an 8-6 win over Sylacauga. Colten Parkinson and Cole Bence were each 2-for-3 to lead Phenix City’s hitters. Tripp McMurray was 1-for-1.
Rout of Alex City sends PC 9U to state
A quick glance at the 9U Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball District Tournament’s Championship game scorebook would lead you to believe the title was won in a close contest. Alex City used three pitchers to combine for a four-hitter. Phenix City used one pitcher who tossed a two-hitter. Those statistics did not tell the tale.
Phenix City’s All-Stars won the game played at the Idle Hour Sports Complex in a rout, 12-0, to advance to the state tournament in Florence on June 20.
“I felt like we had a good chance of winning. We came out a little slow, but got going like we should have. We only beat Alex City 4-1 in the first game. Now that this tournament is over and we are going to the state tournament, we have to keep working hard. We have to work on doing the little things right. We have to work on being a team,
Phenix City Coach Jeremiah Moss said after his team won the title.
Phenix City blew the title game open in the second inning, taking a 1-0 lead and turning it into a 9-0 lead. The team added three more runs in the third inning to make the score 12-0 which allowed the local youths to claim the title by the mercy rule after Alex City batted in the top of the fourth inning.
In the second inning, Phenix City was able to get its eight runs by combining six walks, a hit batter and two hits to push the runs across the plate. Cam Sessions and Duncan Thompson had the hits.
Rhett English was the winning Pitcher for Phenix City. English tossed 69 pitches over four innings, allowed two hits, struck out 10 and walked two.
Caleb Phillips, Deacon Leatherwood, Sessions and Thompson were each 1-for-1 at the plate. Sessions had a double. Phillips scored three runs.
Phenix City reached the title game by defeating Alex City in the opening game of the tournament 4-1 and then routing Sylacauga 12-2.
Phenix City scored a pair of runs in both the third and fourth innings to beat Alex City in the first meeting between the two teams. Thompson was the winning pitcher. He went 4.2 innings, threw 64 pitches, allowed five hits, gave up one run, struck out six and walked two batters. Leatherwood and English both came in to relieve Thompson.
At the plate, Phillips was 1-for-1 to lead the team. Thompson was 1-for-2 and Sessions was 1-for-3. Sessions had a double for Phenix City.
Phenix City had a four-inning mercy rule victory over Sylacauga that took two days. Due to rains, the game was suspended after the third inning with Phenix City leading 8-0. The next day, Phenix City gave up a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. But, in the bottom of the frame, Phenix City scored four runs to end the game 12-2.
English was the winning pitcher. He threw the first three innings, threw 37 pitches, gave up no hits, did not allow a run and struck out nine. The final inning on the next day was thrown by Thompson, who gave up two runs on two hits.
At the plate, Sawyer Moss, Christian Thomas, Macon Garland and Sessions were each 2-for-2. English was 1-for-1. Colton Barger and Leatherwood were both 1-for-2. Moss had a triple. Moss, Barger, English, Sessions and Thomas each had doubles.