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SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2007
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Marlins roll up the runs to win Dixie Boys city title
Winners rally from 3-run
deficit to edge D-backs

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2640

Friday night started off a little rocky for Marlins pitcher Titus Miller in the Dixie Boys Baseball 13- and 14-year-old city championship game.

After hitting the first two batters and giving up three runs, he settled down and quickly got the game under control, helping the Marlins pick up a 15-5 victory over the Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks won Thursday night to give the Marlins their first loss in the double-elimination tournament. The Diamondbacks also had one loss, which meant Friday's game was a winner-take-all affair.

"I got a little nervous after I hit the first two," said Miller, the son of Marlins' head coach Greg Miller. "I just took a deep breath and started pitching my game."

Titus Miller pitched a complete game, going five innings and striking out four.

"We were really lucky," Greg Miller said.

"We were saving Titus for this game, and he came through for us. All of our pitchers did a great job in this tournament."

Second baseman Josh Freeman got it started for the Marlins in the bottom of the first with a solo home run to cut the deficit to 3-1. Titus Miller followed with another solo shot to make it 3-2.

"When Josh and Titus hit back-to-back home runs, it let the guys know it was their game," Greg Miller said. "Baseball is a mental game, and the guys showed that tonight. They didn't lose focus."

In the top of the third, the Diamondbacks' Wiggie Bryan singled and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Reid Cauthen's single scored Bryan for a 4-2 advantage.

The Diamondbacks added another run later when Cauthen scored when a pitch got by the catcher.

The Marlins struck again at the bottom of the inning after a Jason Holt single. Holt later advanced to second on a throwing error.

Justin Emberton's single scored Holt to make it 5-3 with no outs.

Freeman then reached first when a third strike got by the catcher. The play also resulted in another Marlins run, making it 5-4.

It was all Marlins the rest of the way, as they scored six runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.

Three of the runs came on Holt's inside-the-park homer, and a two-run home run by Freeman.

"It felt good," Freeman said. "I knew the pitcher was going to throw a fastball both times. I wasn't trying to hit a home run, I just had base hit on my mind."

The Marlins scored four more runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game with a 10-run rule limit.

"This has been a great bunch of kids," said Greg Miller, who also praised the team's two assistant coaches.

"Both Perry (Freeman) and Greg (Walden) Sr. stepped up and did a tremendous job with these guys,"he added.

"I couldn't have asked for a better season. These guys deserve it."

The T-Ball and Minor B finals set for Point Mallard were rained out.

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