Rain plays havoc with Dixie Youth schedule

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 6, 2005

The sun was still out. The air was still warm. The players still wanted to play.

But a bizarre Thursday night rainstorm had turned the SportPlex fields to a mishmash of mud, grass, and huge puddles, canceling the final games of the Dixie Youth “AAA” (9-and-10 year-olds) and Dixie Youth “Majors” (11-and-12 year-olds) leagues’ seasons. Although the cloud never once blocked the setting sun (prompting many fans to mutter something along the lines of “it won’t last long”) and many parts of Demopolis were never touched by the storm, a heavy rain fell on the SportPlex field for as long as an hour and 15 minutes.

Although officials held out hope for some time waiting for the shower to break (and a Dixie Girls Ponytails game between Jennings Service and Athlete’s Foot was begun in the rain), the SportPlex fields became unplayable.

Because of the cancellation, the two Dixie Youth leagues’ final standings and All-Star teams have yet to be announced. Dixie Youth Commisioner Chris Stewart was able to confer with coaches and league officials to re-schedule the games as quickly as possible. The final “Majors” game between Mason and Gardner and Omni Sports will be played this Saturday during George Spence Fun Day at 1:00 p.m. The final “AAA” game between Windham Motors and Anderson P&H will be held Monday evening at 6 p.m. All-Star announcements and trophy presentations to the first-place team for each league will be held then.

The two Babe Ruth League match-ups scheduled for Thursday night were continued for as long as possible, but also had to be called due to field conditions. The games will be finished at the beginning of the next game scheduled between the two teams involved in the rain-out. At the time the games were called, New Era had opened up a 7-3 lead over Greene County Steam Plant in the top half of the fourth inning, while Community Bank had exploded for a 12-1 fifth-inning advantage over Parr’s Chevron.

Four Dixie Youth teams were able to end their season Thursday before the basepaths had become mud pits, however, as Traeger’s and BankTrust squared off in “Majors” action and Dowdle Gas faced Lions Club

in “AAA.”

Will Tucker emerged as the winning pitcher in a tense, back-and-forth affair between Dowdle and Lions that ended in a narrow 8-7 victory for Dowdle Gas. The Lions were led by pitchers Colton Dodd and Josh Mangum.

The Traeger’s-BankTrust match-up was equally exciting as Trager’s rallied for a 5-4 win in the bottom of the sixth. Strong pitching by BankTrust’s Matthew Summers, who would go on to gut out a complete game performance, had helped stake his team to a 4-2 lead entering the bottom of the fifth. But after a base hit by Mark Thorne, Thomas Cramer would slide under a tag at home plate to tie the game at 4. In the next inning Traeger’s would load the bases before Thomas Andrews came home on an infield hit to score the winning run. William Stewart picked up the win after coming on in relief of Ben Pettus.