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Colleton County Dixie Youth Majors All Star Journey

Photo by Herb Bailey

By Herb Bailey

On Monday, June 20 the hometown All Stars began District 8 Tournament play at the Ace Basin Sports Complex. The opener against Hampton did not begin as the young men hoped for. The Hampton All Stars would score twice in the first two innings and that would eventually would turn out to be all they would need. Warren Hunter would get Colleton County’s first hit of the game in the third inning but by that time Hampton had increased their lead to 6 to 0. The score was 10-0 before Ryan Nettles would get their next hit in the 5th inning.That would ended up being the final score as Hampton (in red) reminded the older crowd of the old Reds machine of the 70’s. In this double elimination tournament Colleton County would have their backs against the wall following their opening loss.
Tuesday evening brought warmer weather with hopes that Colleton County would get hot against the Allendale All Stars. The hometown heroes came ready to play in this must win game.Thomas Kellam, Michael Ortiz and Grayson Cromer opened the first inning with walks to set up Ben Kennedy to deliver a double and 2 R.B.I’s. Ryan Nettles and Huiet Roe would each drive in a run that led to 4 runs in the opening frame. Allendale would score in the bottom of the first but that was as close as they would get. Triples from Preston Breland and Warren Hunter plus doubles chipped in from Ryan Nettles and Michael Ortiz brought a huge 12-run inning for Colleton County. Allendale would score 6 runs in the bottom of the 2nd but the scoring machine of Colleton County was not done yet. The 4th inning would see three more runs from the hometown team, highlighted by a long home run off the bat of Carter Smoak. The final score would be 19-7 and Colleton County would move on to Wednesday evening.
The Hometown heroes battle on at Ace Basin!
On Wednesday, June 22 the 1-1 Colleton County Dixie Youth Majors All Stars moved on in tournament play to take on the Jasper County All Stars. After an offensive explosion on the previous evening, the hometown crowd hoped that the team’s bats were still as hot as the outside temps. Ben Kennedy did not disappoint with a R.B.I. double in the top of the first inning. Behind the three-inning shutout pitching of Carter Smoak, Colleton County seemed poised to pick up where they left off the previous evening. They would add a run in the second plus another in the third, off the bat of Grayson Cromer’s double. Ryan Nettles would lead off the fourth with a long home run with a celebration greeting from his teammates at the plate. Huiet Roe would double and come home on a Preston Breland triple. Colleton County would add another run in the 4th making it a 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the inning. Jasper All Stars would pick up 2 runs through the long ball that seemed to give them some hopes of a comeback. The hot bats of Colleton County would have something to say about that, adding 6 more runs in the 5th highlighted by doubles from Ben Kennedy and Preston Breland. The final would end up being 12-2 with a next evening matchup against Hampton next for Colleton County.
On Thursday evening, the umpires encouraged both coaches to keep their players hydrated. Unfortunately, the hot bats of the previous two games did not stay hot in game 4. Hampton would pour it on from the very start, plating 6 runs in the top of the 1st. Colleton County would answer in the bottom of the 1st with R.B.I’s by Carter Smoak and Ryan Nettles. Hampton was not done yet, adding 4 more runs in the second inning and another in the third to take a commanding 11-2 lead. Colleton County would get two more runs across the plate, one in the 4th and another in the 5th inning, but it would not be enough. Hampton would hold on to a 13-4 win but the hometown heroes played hard and had a number of shining moments to take from the tournament.

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