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SATURDAY, JULY 21, 2007
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YOUTH BASEBALL
Athens scores early to whip Boaz in state

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

ATHENS — There's an old saying "three's a charm."

For the Athens National 13-year-old team that saying stands true after its 6-1 victory over Boaz in the Dixie Boys state tournament Friday night.

Going into Friday's game, the team had only practiced three times since the regular season ended and never played a game together. And for head coach Greg Crow that made him a little uneasy.

"You can best believe that I was nervous," Crow said. "I'm proud of these guys though. They came out tonight ready to play ball. We got a few key hits when we needed them and that helped us."

Crow is in his 11th year of coaching and says he has had most all of them on one of his teams before, something he says has helped.

"I've coached a lot of these guys before," Crow said. "That kind of helped as well because I know what they are capable of doing."

Hunter Day got things started for Athens in the top of the first with a leadoff hit. Casey Thomas' single scored Day putting Athens up 1-0. Justin Anderson drew a walk and a ground out by Jordan Crow scored Thomas making it 2-0.

Singles by Austin Harris and Blake Roberson plated two more runs in the first inning.

"They played as a team tonight and backed each other up when they needed to," Crow said. "If they come out with the attitude that they can win, they can do it."

Boaz scored its lone run of the night when Amos Abbolt, who had doubled, came home on Bret Willoway's single.

Athens got the bats going again in the fifth with a single by Thomas. Anderson and Crow followed with singles to score Thomas. A ground out by Roberson scored Anderson, giving Athens the 6-1 margin.

"I felt like the other team had a little bit of advantage going into tonight's game since they had played together in the other tournaments," Jordan said. "I think us getting those four runs in the first inning really helped us get our confidence up. Hopefully, if we keep our heads in the game tomorrow night, we can come out with another win."

Cherokee Co. 8, Hartselle 7: Hartselle's Jacob Garrison got things started at the top of the third with a two-out double. He scored on Kameron Walker's home run to put Hartselle up 2-0. Colby Nelson, who walked, and Gavin Marsh, who singled, scored on a single by Todd Gibson.

Hueytown 13, Decatur American 3: Michael Speagle and Chris Foster, who each walked, scored two runs for Decatur on passed balls.

In another game at Athens on Friday, Underwood beat DeKalb 3-1.

Athens will take on Hartselle on Saturday night at 7:30 at the Athens Sportsplex.

14-year-olds

Decatur American 11, Cottondale 1: In Fayette, Scott Bookout allowed one run on three hits while striking out three in the North State tournament for 14-year-olds. Devin Wynn had two singles and one home run while Justin Rippen and Spencer Beasley each had two singles.

Decatur American next plays Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

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