Big innings lift Demopolis over Linden in 78 All-Stars

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 20, 2005

BUTLER–For the middle four innings of their game against the Linden All-Stars Thursday night, the Demopolis 7-and-8-year old All-Stars’ bats were relatively quiet. But they made plenty of noise in the first and sixth, riding those two huge innings to claim a hard-fought 20-17 victory.

“That’s the most fun we’ve had this season,” said Demopolis coach Walter Tutt. “Both these teams did a great job. Nobody was a loser here today. I wish there was a way both teams could win the game…we just happened to have the most at the end.”

Most of those “most” came in two big Demopolis rallies, a 9-run explosion in the first and a game-winning 7-run outburst in the seventh that accounted for 16 of Demopolis’s 20 runs.

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The win moves Demopolis on to play the Sumter County All-Stars, 20-13 victors over homestanding Butler, at 8 p.m. Friday night in the winner’s bracket of the area Dixie Youth “AA” All-Star tourney. The winner of that game will advance to the championship round, to be played Monday night at Butler’ Zack Rogers Field. Linden slips to the loser’s bracket and will play Butler in an elimination game.

Demopolis jumped out of the first-inning gate Thursday, putting 9 of their first 10 batters on base and scoring all of them. Lead-off hitter Wallace Tutt got things started and was followed by hits from Matthew Trest, Josh Holifield, Blake Bowden, Jacob Rodrigues, Sam Renner, and Tyler Colburn. Only an outstanding play from Linden shortstop Ralph Langley on a sharp liner by Caleb Holtzclaw broke the Demopolis momentum.

Linden would respond in the bottom of the first with four runs of their own, three coming on a three-run home run by Thomas Glass. They would go on to take an 12-9 lead after a seven-run third inning sparked by big hits delivered by Tyler Barkley, Langley, Glass, and Hayden Huckabee.

Linden was getting it done in the field as well as at the plate. Strong defense helped Linden strand Tutt at third after a lead-off triple in the second, and in the third Langley preserved another run with another outstanding defensive play. Demopolis’s Austin Dinning belted a pitch to deep right field and appeared certain to come all the way around for the home run, but Langley made an outstanding throw from shallow center to catch him at the plate.

Dinning would be back, though, collecting Demopolis’s fourth single of the fifth inning (following Renner’s, Colburn’s, and Mark Joseph Johnson’s) to drive home Renner and break a 12-all tie.

Linden would re-take the lead in the inning’s bottom half, with Matt Williamson driving home Langley to put his team up 14-13 entering the game’s final inning.

But then Demopolis would put together their second major rally of the game. Tutt, Trest, and Holifield would each single before Rodrigues laced a two-out double to center to clear the bases and put Demopolis up 16-14. Renner, Colburn, Johnson, and Luke Yelverton would then each connect to keep the inning alive and give Demopolis a 20-14 lead going into the bottom half.

Linden refused to go quietly, however. Caleb Broadhead started things off with single before Carson Huckabee, Cason Cook, and Hayden Hall each recorded hits to narrow the gap to 20-17. But on a bang-bang play at home, Demopolis catcher Rodrigues would make a solid tag for the third out.

Full coverage will be available in the Tuesday edition of the Times.

The Demopolis players are, in alphabetical order, Will Allen, Blake Bowden, Tyler Colburn, Austin Dinning, Josh Holifield, Caleb Holtzclaw, Mark Joseph Johnson, Sam Renner, Jacob Rodrigues, Trent Spruell, Matthew Trest, Wallace Tutt, and Luke Yelverton.

Linden’s All-Stars are Hayden Hall, Tyler Barkley, Thomas Etheridge, Ralph Langley, Thomas Glass, Hayden Huckabee, Will Stephens, Matt Williamson, Tait Sanford, Caleb Broadhead, Carson Huckabee, Shade Pritchell, and Cason Cook.


7-and-8-year old All-Star coach Joe Lins was misidentitifed in previous Times editions as “John” Lins. The Times regrets the error and is happy is to make the correction.