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TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2007
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Decatur American coach John Crow, left, congratulates Matthew Fischer after Fischer's homer.
Daily photo by Brennen Smith
Decatur American coach John Crow, left, congratulates Matthew Fischer after Fischer's homer.

YOUTH BASEBALL
Decatur American edges Decatur National in slugfest

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

HARTSELLE — To call this game a slugfest would be an understatement.

In a Dixie Youth Baseball 11- and 12-year-old district tournament battle of Decatur city rivals at Sparkman Park on Monday night, the two teams combined for 21 hits, including five home runs. When it ended, Decatur American remained undefeated in the double-elimination event after handing Decatur National a 13-9 loss.

Decatur American now will face Athens National on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Sparkman Park. Athens earned the right to play Decatur American with a 4-3 win over Morgan County West in an elimination game.

Decatur National moved to the elimination bracket with the loss and will play Tuesday at 6 p.m. against the winner of Athens American-Hartselle American, who were playing late.

In the city rival contest, Tyler Rivers and Matthew Fischer hit home runs for Decatur American while Gray Cauthen, Jackson Walraven and Austin Compton ripped home runs for Decatur National.

Decatur American led 6-3 at the end of the first inning.

Cauthen's home run in the first inning brought home teammates Compton and Kyle Ingram to give the Nationals a quick 3-0 lead.

The lead was short-lived as the Americans answered with six runs of their own.

In the first inning, Blake Hall doubled to center field, followed by an infield single by Chad Cooper. A.J. McKinnon received an intentional walk before Chris Fail doubled to left field, scoring Hall and Cooper. Rivers then delivered his three-run homer to left field, followed by Fischer's home run over the right-field fence.

Decatur National trailed 7-6 after three innings and was unable to score in the fourth. Decatur American took control in the bottom of the inning, scoring five runs for a 12-6 advantage.

The Americans received four walks from Decatur National pitchers, and two batters were hit by pitches. In the five-run scoring spree, Decatur American did not produce any hits, scoring all of its runs unearned.

Hall, who started the Decatur American hitting barrage with his double, said the key to being undefeated in the tournament is teamwork.

"We all know we have to work together," Hall said. "We know that we have to push and then push some more. We have to keep pushing ourselves and the other teams and not let things get to our heads. We know that every game we play is important and we can't let up any at all."

Decatur American manager John Crow echoed his player's thoughts.

"We make sure our guys know that every game we play is the most important game in the tournament," Crow said.

Besides his three-run homer, Rivers also had two singles for Decatur American. Cooper, Josh Walker and McKinnon also had a single each.

Cauthen complimented his home run for Decatur National with a double, and Compton had a pair of singles. Max Ackley had three singles, and Kyle Ingram, Chase Holladay, Parker Frith and Hayden Hatfield finished with a single each.

Fail got the pitching win.

15- and 16-year-olds

Decatur 9, Lawrence County 6: Decatur won a game at Austin High with Scott Peyton, Jake Morgan and Hunter Rivers pitching for the winners.

Peyton and Morgan each worked three innings, while Rivers pitched one.

Joe Hyde had an RBI triple for Lawrence County.

Decatur will face Central on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Austin.

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