Decatur Dixie Boys American sweep sub-district
By Paul Stackhouse
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Five up and five down.
For the Decatur Dixie Boys American League 14-year-old all-stars, five opponents tried to take the team down and all five left the field empty-handed.
The five wins found Decatur capturing the championship trophy in sub-distrtict tournament play at Cedar Ridge Middle School's baseball fields Thursday night. The championship run was capped when Decatur American 11-5 won over Colbert County.
Recapping Decatur's tournament, the Americans defeated Greenhill 16-6, Rogersville 26-0, Colbert County 10-7, Greenhill 9-4 and championship win over Colbert County.
Before the game Thursday, both Colbert and Decatur knew they had already earned a spot in the district tournament scheduled to begin July 6 at Alexander Park in Moulton.
The Americans will face Colbert County for the third time in two weeks in the first round of the district at 5:30 p.m. on July 6.
The Decatur American 13-year-old all-stars are slated to face Underwood at 7:30 p.m., immediately following the 14-year-old game.
Decatur American 11, Colbert County 5: Leading 2-1 after the first inning, Decatur unloaded with five runs in the top of the second to take control of the game.
Devin Wynn pitched 4 1/3 innings for Decatur to pick up the win. In his stint, Wynn allowed one hit, while striking out three and walking two.
Justin Rippen had a home run and a single for Decatur. Hayden Naumann had a double with Ethan Walker, Connor Graves, Ty Keenum, Spencer Beasley and Andrew Lilly hitting a single each. Thomas Russell had five straight singles.
"I was just watching the ball," Russell said. "That's all I was doing. I was seeing it come in great. I guess it was just my night tonight."
Russell said hitting was just one key to Decatur's success.
"Our pitchers did a really great job," Russell said. "Our defense was really good at times, and when the defense let down some, we made up for it with our bats.
"We did a lot of preparation for this tournament and it made a big difference for us. Now, we've got to prepare for district and not get a big-head. I really don't see that happening though. We have to just keep working as hard for the district tournament as we did for this one."
Decatur American manager Randy Smith said he has some concerns about his team's first game. "I don't really care which all-star team you are playing, it's hard to beat a team three straight times," Smith said. "These are all-star teams I'm talking about now. We can't slack up any at all or we'll find ourselves in the losers bracket. We have got to keep pounding that into our players' heads."
Smith said his job in the sub-district tournament wasn't difficult.
"When you surround yourself with good coaches and good players, well, that just makes it easy for me being the manager of the team," Smith said. "In our first game of the tournament, we were a little bit shaky in the first two innings, but after that, the coahces got everybody settled down and we finished out the tournament solid. There's no doubt in my mind that we improved each and every day we played. It was great getting all 12 of our players in each game and it was great watching everyone contribute to this championship."
Decatur American wins
The Decatur American 7-and-8-year-olds won the sub-district championship in Hartselle on Thursday, defeating Athens 17-7 in five innings.
Decatur American pounded out 19 hits. Paxton Montgomery had three singles. Joshua Wallin also had three singles, while Victor Garth and Austin Joy each had two singles apiece.
Grayson Wakefield had a double and a single as did Tyler Pepper.
The Decatur National League 13-and-14-year-old all-stars will host a Dixie Boys district tournament beginning July 6 at the Cedar Ridge Middle School baseball fields.
Decatur National is hosting the East district tournament, while Lawrence County is holding the West district tournament, which will be played at Moulton's Alexander Park.
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