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MONDAY, AUGUST 6, 2007
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World Series tops off Cashin Wheeler baseball season

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

The 23rd year of the Northwest Youth Athletic Association’s Cashin Wheeler Baseball League has come and gone.

The league topped off its season with its World Series, which was a best-of-three matchup between the Diamondbacks and Phillies.

The Diamondbacks won two straight, taking the opening game 20-10 and the second contest 12-10.

The season began with a parade June 1, and the league included four T-ball teams (mostly ages 5 and 6), two pitching-machine teams (7-8) and four teams in the 9-13 age group, which competed for the right to make the World Series. The team rosters included boys and girls.

The games were at the Cashin Wheeler Field across from Pines Park and the Butch Matthews Field located at the intersection of Vine Street and McCartney Street. Both are in Northwest Decatur.

“For the most part, the fields are close to where the players live and this gives the kids a chance to play organized baseball close to home,” said Matthews, the president of the NWYAA.

“If the fields were not close by, there definitely would be a transportation problem. Being close to home helps and so does the fact that there is no fee for the kids to play. We do what we can to get the kids to come out, have fun and learn a lot of things.”

Matthews said the league’s coaches and volunteers taught a lot more than just baseball.

“I can’t begin to say all of the good things the kids are taught,” Matthews said. “Some of the lessons might include things such as anger management, good sportsmanship, playing by the rules, learning to play together with other kids and having respect for their elders.

“Just as important for the kids is giving them something to do during the summertime. This is a time of year when they can have plenty of idle time — basically having nothing to do. That’s a bad time when kids have nothing to do”

Matthews said the league had the same trouble that plagued other youth baseball leagues in North Alabama — getting qualified and caring coaches.

“That’s something we are going to have to work on harder next year,” Matthews said. “In the early going before the season, we had a lot of phone calls by people who said they were going to come out and help. And a lot of them never showed up.”

World Series

In the first outing, the Diamondbacks pushed seven runs across the plate to take control of the game. However, the Phillies came back and tied the game at 10 in the fifth inning before the Diamondbacks scored 10 more runs to win the game.

Jamil Tatum was the winning pitcher for the Diamondbacks. He also hit a double to help his team.

Janecha Tatum had a home run, a double and a single. Xienia Allen had a double and a single, while Khai Reed, Bejaum Clack, Javis Petty, Javary Miller and Janelle Wallace had a double each.

Forrest Simpson led the Phillies at the plate with a triple, double and a single. Steven Simpson had a triple and a double, while Angel Bolden, Kaelin Simpson, Jake Lovett and Brook White had a double and a single each.

Dre Driskell finished with a double.

In the second contest, the Diamondbacks scored six runs in the first inning and two in the second.

In the fifth inning, the Phillies roared back to tie the score at 10. In the sixth inning, Jamil Tatum belted a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks to win the game and the series.

Besides the home run, Jamil Tatum had a double and a single and was also the winning pitcher.

Javary Miller had a triple and a double, while Javis Petty had a double and two singles. Khai Reed had a double and a single, with Janechia Tatum finishing with a single.

Jake Lovett led the Phillies at the plate with a double and two singles.

Steven Simpson and Dre Driskell had a double and a single each, while Forrest Simpson ripped a double.

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