It was a rough day for the local teams at the Dixie Youth Boys 12U Ozone State Tournament Monday at Dothan’s G. Marvin Lewis Youth Sports Complex as all three clubs were eliminated, including Dothan National, which lost in stunning fashion late Monday.
Dothan National, which entered the day unbeaten after three wins, lost to AUM Green 16-6 to drop to a losers’ bracket game against Auburn Blue. The Nationals were two outs away from a 10-run rule victory, leading 12-0 in the fourth, but Auburn Blue stayed alive with three runs and added three more runs in the fifth before completing a stunning comeback with seven runs in the top of the seventh for a 13-12 victory.
Auburn Blue advanced to play Opelika in a Tuesday 11 a.m. elimination game. The winner faces AUM Green in the championship game at 3 p.m.
The area’s two other teams were eliminated earlier Monday. Dothan American couldn’t overcome a hard-hitting attack from Southeastern of Montgomery and fell 8-3. Taylor/Rehobeth lost to Auburn Blue 10-5 and was also eliminated. Both teams went 2-2 at the tournament.
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Opelika, meanwhile, stayed alive with two wins on Monday, beating Troy 15-13 and Southeastern of Montgomery 11-10.
Auburn Blue 13, Dothan National 12: Behind a two-homer performance from Jaxon Morales, Dothan National seized a seemingly commanding 12-0 lead going to the fourth inning and was three outs away from a 10-run rule win.
Auburn Blue, though, stayed alive and eventually rallied.
After a line out started the Auburn fourth, Owen England singled and Bennett Barron was hit by a pitch. Inman Moore followed with a two-run double. Moore stole third and scored on a passed ball to make it 12-3 and Auburn avoided the mercy rule.
Auburn closed the gap to 12-6 with three runs in the fifth then completed the stunning rally in the sixth.
After a Bennett Barron walk to open the inning, back-to-back doubles by Moore and Thad Swartzentruber plated the first two runs in the sixth and Cannon Yates’ sac fly scored the third run. Hudson Olive walked then Dane Wells reached on an error. After a Wells steal, two straight passed balls allowed the two runners to score as Auburn pulled to within a run.
Brewer Hussey drew a walk, putting runners at first and third, and an error allowed Carter Lowe to score the tying run. Hussey, at third after the error, scored on a Cannon Carmichael ground out to put Auburn in front.
Morales singled to open the Dothan National sixth, but Auburn Blue pitcher Swartzentruber struck out two straight and got a fly out to complete the Auburn win.
Swartzentruber delivered a clutch relief performance, shutting out Dothan National the final three innings after it built the 12-0 lead. Swartentruber allowed only one hit in his three innings, while striking out three and walking one.
Morales had a dominating game for Dothan National, hitting a two-run homer in the second, a grand slam homer in the third plus his sixth-inning single to finish 3-for-4 with six runs batted in. DK Williams, Jake Murdock and Hudson Walker all had two hits with Williams driving in two runs. Alex Prado and Ayden Ammons both had a hit and drove in two runs.
Southeastern 8, Dothan American 3: Southeastern pounded out 13 hits and scored in each of the first four innings, including four in the third, and kept Dothan American’s offense at bay enough.
“I am proud of the boys,” Dothan American coach Robert Bass said. “Other than one or two innings in our first game, we played a lot of good baseball.
“We played a good Southeastern team,” Bass said. “We played well. It seemed like every time we hit a line drive, it went to their mitt. They made a lot of great plays defensively. As I told our boys, sometimes it’s just not your day, but it wasn’t because we played poorly. I was really proud of the efforts they gave and really proud of this group and these kids for how they played throughout the season.”
Southeastern opened its scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Karsen Tate singled then stole second and moved to third on a Hays Marks ground out before scoring on a Finley Haigler single.
Dothan quickly tied it in the top of the second. Sloan Thomas singled with one out and Malachi Toliver reached an error with Thomas moving to third. Judson Tyler followed with a RBI single.
Southeastern, though, surged back in front with two runs in the bottom of the second. Back-to-back singles from Chase Carpenter and Hudson Bradshaw opened the inning with the latter’s hit scoring Carpenter, who had moved to second on an error. Later in the inning, Hayes Stanley singled home Bradshaw to make it 3-1.
Southeastern broke the game open with its four-run third to build a 7-1 lead. Haigler belted a two-run homer and Bradshaw singled home two runs for the scoring.
The Montgomery squad padded the margin to 8-1 with a run in the fourth on a Marks’ RBI single.
Dothan scored twice in the top of the fifth to close the scoring. Toliver walked and Tyler singled to open the inning. After a passed ball moved the runners up a base each, Aiden Wallace’s fly ball to center was misplayed, allowing Toliver to score and Tyler to move to third. Tyler then scored on Kayleb Parker’s ground out.
Dothan American was held to five hits by two Southeastern pitchers. Tyler had two of the hits.
Southeastern’s 13-hit attack was led by Marks, Haigler and Bradshaw with two hits each. Both Haigler and Bradshaw drove in three runs each.
Marks pitched the first four innings for Southeastern, allowing four hits and one unearned run with one strikeout. Haigler worked the last two innings, giving up one hit and two unearned runs with one strikeout and two walks.
Auburn Blue 10, Taylor/Rehobeth 5: Taylor/Rehobeth fell behind big early, but kept battling before falling to Auburn Blue 10-5 in a losers’ bracket game.
The loss eliminated Taylor/Rehobeth.
“I thought the kids fought hard at the tournament,” Taylor/Rehobeth head coach Brent Nance said. “We won two and lost two and they showed what they have showed all year of never giving up. In this last game, Auburn came out hot and scored seven runs, but we held them for a while and scored some runs and battled back. I was proud of them for that.
“We just dug ourselves a hole early on as we didn’t make some plays, made some errors and gave them extra at-bats and that ultimately did us in, but I was proud of them for not giving up. That is what we try to instill in them.”
Auburn Blue struck for seven runs in top of the first inning, but Taylor/Rehobeth clawed back into it, cutting it to 7-3 by the end of the second. After two scoreless innings, Auburn padded its lead to 10-3. Taylor/Rehobeth, with just three outs left, kept battling, scoring twice in the sixth and putting two runners on base before a line out to left field ended the game.
Brewer Hussey went 2-for-2 with three runs batted in to lead Auburn Blue. Carter Lowe was 2-for-3, while Hudson Olive, Dane Wells, Nicolas King and Cannon Carmichael all had a hit and a RBI.
For Taylor/Rehobeth, BJ Williams and Maddox Kendall were both 2-for-3 with a run batted in. Ty Nance belted a two-run homer and Bryson Gibson had a run-scoring single.
Cannon Yates started and pitched 1 1/3 for Auburn Blue, striking out one. Thad Swartzentruber worked 3 2/3 innings and struck out four. Hussey pitched the last inning, striking out one.
AUM Green 16, Dothan National 6: AUM pulled away in the final two innings, scoring five in the fifth and four in the sixth to break away from a 7-6 lead.
Dothan National seized a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning, but AUM scored seven in the top of the second. Dothan National battled back to cut it to 7-6 with a run in the second and three in the third before AUM Green pulled away.
Dothan National finished with seven hits. Cam Collins led the way, going 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and a triple. DK Williams and Jaxon Morales connected on back-to-back solo homers, while Tyler Gibson had a run-scoring single and Alex Prado had a RBI ground out.
Mason Henry, the second of three AUM pitchers, picked up the pitching win. He pitched three innings, striking out four and giving up three runs and five hits. Parker Dunlap worked the final two innings, striking out two and giving up one hit.
Opelika 15, Troy 13: Opelika stayed alive with a dramatic late rally.
Down 13-10 with three outs left, Opelika scored five runs to win it, capped by AG Henry’s two-run walk-off single.
Dax McCracken drew a walk and Smitty Young singled to open the inning. Banks Tatum and Jack Brandon followed with a run-scoring single each to draw Opelika to within a run. Weston Rice’s sacrifice fly scored Banks to tie the game and advance Brandon to third.
Turner Underwood was intentionally walked. He then stole second before Henry hit a 1-2 pitch to center for the game-winning hit.
Brandon led a 16-Opelika attack, going 4-for-4 with a run batted in. Underwood finished 2-for-2 and five runs batted in, highlighted by a grand slam homer. Tatum and Young both had two hits with Tatum driving in two runs. Rice, Brock Danford and Ashton Keith all had a hit and RBI each.
Troy earned 13 hits with JD Vaughan leading the way, going 3-for-3 with a solo homer and a RBI double. Conner Sanders added two singles and a RBI, while Jordan Green had a hit with two runs batted in.
Cope Russell, Ryan Copeland, Porter Beasley, Eli Sikes and Bradunn Golden all added a hit and run batted in.
Underwood, the last of four Opelika pitchers, picked up the pitching win. He threw the last 1 1/3, not allowing a hit or run, while striking out one and walking one.
Opelika 11, Southeastern 10: Opelika overcame a 5-0 deficit to take a four-run lead, but had to hold on in the final inning to edge Southeastern of Montgomery.
Southeastern scored three runs in the top of the sixth to cut the margin to a run and had the tying runner at second base when Opelika pitcher Hunter Harrelson got a ground out to second baseman Banks Tatum to end the game.
Jack Brandon went 3-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in and both Smitty Young and Tatum went 2-for-2 with a run batted in to pace Opelika’s offense. Turner Underwood and Ashton Keith both had a hit and two runs batted in and Dax McCracken had a single and RBI.
For Southeastern, Reed Bledsoe and Chase Carpenter both had two hits and two runs batted in with Bledsoe earning a solo homer. Hunter Bradshaw had two hits with one RBI and Hays Marks belted a two-run homer for Southeastern.
Grant Speigner, the third of four Opelika pitchers, picked up the pitching win. He pitched 1 2/3 innings, striking out one.