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MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2007
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The American Yankees and National League LSU Tigers in the city T-ball playoffs at the new field at the Bill Dukes Athletic Complex at Point Mallard on Thursday. The first-year field with 125-foot outfield fences and bases 50 feet apart saw plenty of action this spring.
Daily photos by Gary Cosby Jr.
The American Yankees and National League LSU Tigers in the city T-ball playoffs at the new field at the Bill Dukes Athletic Complex at Point Mallard on Thursday. The first-year field with 125-foot outfield fences and bases 50 feet apart saw plenty of action this spring.

T-ball field idea becomes a reality

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com

It was a tight fit and much needed playing area at the Bill Dukes Baseball Fields at Point Mallard Park.

For many years, scheduling has been a thorn in the side for Decatur Dixie Youth Baseball National League officials.

The National League routinely practices and plays at Point Mallard but something was needed for the smaller crowd. The 5- and 6-year-olds T-ball players and coaches were having a difficult time finding a place to practice and play.

This year a T-ball field was erected at Point Mallard.

“Greg Gann, myself and others talked about this the year before last because of all the scheduling problems we were having,” said DDYB National League president Brad Burroughs. “Finally we came up with the idea to build a new field right next to the (regulation Minor A and Majors) first field in the complex. We called Jeff Dunlap (Decatur Parks and Recreation director) and told him we had enough room to do this. He agreed to check it out and help, and we presented the idea to our (DDYB National League) board. The next thing you know, we’re building a new field.”

The National League agreed to pay $20,000 for the project, which included installing all the fences, and Decatur Parks and Recreation took care of the rest.

“We did the prep work and irrigation system,” said Paul Floyd, facilities and operations Manager for DPR. “It was in a difficult spot because it was a water run-off area. But, we got some fill-dirt and solved the problem. I think it worked out well.”

Michael Gregory of the  American Yankees can’t find the handle on the ball during a playoff game last week.
Michael Gregory of the American Yankees can’t find the handle on the ball during a playoff game last week.
To those unfamiliar with the field, it will probably catch you off guard when you drive into the complex. It’s the first field park visitors see as they enter the Point Mallard complex. For instance, instead of seeing a long 200-foot fence, the T-ball fence is set at 125 feet. The basepaths are set at 50 feet and there is a safety net between the bigger Minor A and Majors field and the T-ball field.

Don’t be surprised if you see more regulation T-ball fields built in Decatur and surrounding areas. The trial field has passed inspection and others are going to want one just like it.

T-ball city champs

The National League T-Ball LSU Tigers downed the American League Twins 18-7 Saturday at Point Mallard to claim the Decatur Dixie Youth Baseball city championship.

LSU beat the American Rangers 19-13 in its first game of the city tournament and in the second contest the Tigers celebrated a 22-11 victory over the American Yankees before taking the first-place trophy with the win over the Twins.

LSU recorded a perfect record (20-0). The Tigers went 17-0 during the regular season and 3-0 in the city tournament.

Championship winning players are Katie Jones, Adam Burroughs, Jackson Hall, Conner Morson, Mark Cheatham, Andrew Rawson, Josh Gann, Blaze Gillespie, Cameron Morson and Nelson Early. Coaches for the Tigers include Brad Burroughs, Tom Hall, Jeff Early, Greg Gann and Al Cheatham.

Minor B city champs

The American League Minor B Orioles (ages 7 and 8) claimed the DDYB city championship Saturday, taking a 7-6 decision over the National League Georgia Bulldogs in extra innings.

The game was tied at 6 at the end of regulation play (six innings), sending the game into extra innings. The Bulldogs failed to score in the top of the seventh before the Orioles got two base hits in the bottom of the seventh to score one run and win the championship.

DDYP all-star play

The DDYB National League Minor B all-stars will host a sub-district tournament June 22 at Point Mallard. Teams from Decatur, Athens, Hartselle and Morgan County are playing.

Decatur National is slated to play at 5:30 opening day against Athens American.

Hartselle is also hosting a Minor B sub-district tournament. The winners of the Decatur
and Hartselle events will move on to district play June 29 in Athens.

The Decatur National Minor B all-stars include Ben Berry, Tanner Burns, Noah Burroughs, Jack Collins, Charlie Crane, Charlie Cushing, Will Gannaway, Walker Jones, Hunter Lee, Alec Marks, John Riehl and Saylor Solley.

Managers are Brad Burroughs, Chuck Cushing,
Jack Howell and Dr. Randy Riehl.

All-star rosters

The Decatur American Red All-Stars rosters have been announced.

Decatur American Red Majors Ozone (ages 11-12) include Chad Cooper, Daniel Crow, Christopher Fail, Matthew Fischer, Blake Hall, Jake Hamilton, Nicholas Jones, A.J. McKinnon, Tyler Rivers, Bryant Sivley, Christopher Sparkman and Joshua Walker. Team manager is John Crow.

Decatur American Red Minor A (ages 9 and 10) include: Bradley Blunier, Braxton Bolan, Phillip Garland, Skyler Hall, Matthew Humphrey, Cole Jackson, Ben Johnson, Dylan Jones, Logan Reed, Kyle Stuart, Riley Wimberley and Cooper Wright. Team manager is Shane Wright.

Decatur American Red Minor B include: Colty Dozier, Victor Garth II, Austin Joy, Paxton Montgomery, Brady Netherton, Charlie Ord, Tyler Pepper, Cade Pressnell, Dylan Ray, Thomas Rossi, Grayson Wakefield and Joshua Wallin. Team manager is Bruce Netherton.

The Daily is wanting league and tournament officials to send all-star rosters and results to sports@decaturdaily.com.

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