Chips dont fall for U-8 group

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 13, 2007

ALEXANDER CITY &8212; The Demopolis Cal Ripken under-8 all-stars went 1-3 in their state tournament appearance this year, failing to make the final day of play in the tourney.

Coach Rick Dunn said the group didn&8217;t fall from lack of talent, but rather bad luck and playing in the strongest first-round bracket proved costly. He said if several things had gone the other way the group&8217;s tournament could have been a different story.

Tow of the teams in the five-group bracket that the Demopolis group competed in made it to the final game of the state tournament and head on to regional play in Virginia. Dunn said he thought his group had a chance at beating almost ever group they faced.

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The group started out strong in the tournament, with their first and only win coming against the group from Childersburg, 14-7. Dunn said the group&8217;s second game and first loss, 9-3 against Madison should have gone the other way.

In the third game against the eventual second place team, Satsuma, Demopolis had a chance to secure the upset and couldn&8217;t hold on to it. With a tied game in the sixth inning with one out the group got a man on first with no outs and were looking at the top of the line up, but the bats couldn&8217;t prevail and the group left the man stranded on base at the end of the inning. Satsuma didn&8217;t make the same mistake and wrapped up the game in the eight innings, 7-6.

In the final game against Monrovia, the group was beat by the widest margin of the tournament, 10-0. Of course Monrovia also went on to win the state championship.

Dunn singled out several players that stood out from among his group with huge at bats during the tournament. R.J. Cox batted a .500 at state and a phenomenal .553 during the all-star season. Nick Nelson threw out a .546 at the state level and a .512 during the all-star run.