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Marlins second baseman JoshFreeman tags out Diamondbacks runner Blake Towe at second base.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Marlins second baseman JoshFreeman tags out Diamondbacks runner Blake Towe at second base.

Diamondbacks’ win sets up winner-take-all showdown

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2640

Emotions at the Cedar Ridge Middle School baseball fields ran high Thursday night as the Marlins and Diamondbacks met in a late-tournament battle in the Dixie Boys Baseball 13- and 14-year-old city tournament.

The Diamondbacks won 6-5, handing the Marlins their first loss of the double-elimination tournament. The Diamondbacks also have one loss in the event, and Thursday’s result sets up a winner-take-all game Friday at 6 p.m. at Cedar Ridge.

“Anytime you win the city tournament, it’s big,” Diamondbacks head coach Barry Towe said. “The Marlins are a quality ball team with a quality group of coaches. We’ve battled with them all season long. Hopefully, we can pull out another win.”

Towe said part of Thursday night’s strategy was to pitch Reid Cauthen as long as he could go.

“We were going to ride Reid until he couldn’t go anymore,” Towe said.

“I knew Reid could do it. He is one of the best pitchers in the city.”

Cauthen turned in a complete-game effort by pitching all seven innings. In addition, he hit the go-ahead home run in the fifth inning. Cauthen had a grand slam the previous night.

It was all Diamondbacks as they held a 4-1 lead until the top of the third when the Marlins went on a two-out rally.

Justin Emberton’s double got it started for the Marlins. Josh Freeman’s double scored Emberton bringing the Marlins back to within two at 4-2.

Greg Walden reached on catchers’ interference, and after a passed ball, the Marlins had runners on second and third bases.

Travis Tidwell’s single scored Freeman and Walden, tying the score at 4.

The Diamondbacks struck back at the bottom of the third with a leadoff walk by Cauthen.

He later scored on a double by Spencer Walraven to make it 5-4.

The Marlins’ Emberton scored in the fifth to tie it at 5. He reached base after being hit by a pitch.

Cauthen’s homer in the bottom of the fifth gave the Diamondbacks the lead for good.

“It was just another game,” Cauthen said. “I knew I had to come ready to throw strikes and get hits in order for us to win. It feels good to get this win.

“We’ve work hard all season long to get here. Hopefully, we can play like we did tonight and come out with another win.

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