Practice starts this week for oldest Cal Ripken age group

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 7, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The 11- and 12-year-old Cal Ripken League group finished up its regular season and post-season play earlier this week and All-Stars were chosen for the league.

The players chosen for the honor of representing the age group for the league in district tournaments and beyond started its practice regimen this week &8212; holding its second practice yesterday. The coach of the winning regular season and tournament team for the group, Mark Hasty, was appointed to the position of All-Star coach &8212; a position he held last year.

In the second tourney, the group will face the likes of teams from Butler, Sumter, Greensboro and Linden. The winner of the district tournament will then advance to the state tournament that will be held in Gadsden &8212; something Hasty knows a little bit about.

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The group, which was six innings from advancing to the national tournament, tied for the highest level any Demopolis group has achieved in the age group. Hasty said the current year&8217;s group worked out for the first time together Tuesday and its second practice was yesterday.

By more pitching depth, Hasty said the team has more players that he can count on as starting pitchers. He said the group also is strong at the plate than the group under his tutelage during last year&8217;s All-Star stint.

Hasty said the biggest thing last year&8217;s group had that carried it far into the All-Star circuit was the team spirit the group exhibited.