Oldest Cal Ripken age bracket wraps up

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 30, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Doug Brooker told his Traeger&8217;s Red Sox team that he wanted to dedicate this season to the memory of long-time pillar of the community, Billy Traeger Jr.

The Cardinals turned three double plays and relied on a handful of stellar defensive efforts to win the opening game 4-3, forcing the rubber match to crown the champion. The evening&8217;s second game saw the Red Sox jump out to an 8-0 lead in the first inning. D&8217;metric Howell lead off the game with a triple before scoring on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Josh Mangum stroked a two-run home run, his sixth long ball of the season.

With his team up 5-0 and the opening inning rally still going, Howell stepped to the plate again to stroke a double that plated two. The speedster later stole home on the front end of a double steal to cap off the scoring in the top half of the frame.

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The Cardinals answered with one run in the first and a six-run rally in the second to cut the lead to 8-7. The Cardinal rally was highlighted by Logan Boone and Tyler Oates doubles.

The Red Sox clung to the one-run lead until the top of the fourth when they stretched the lead to 12-7 with the aide of head&8217;s up base running by Mangum and a three-run homer by Josh Holifield.

The Red Sox sent Mangum to the mound in the bottom of the sixth, but control issues, mental mistakes and timely Cardinal hitting saw Omni Sports cut the lead to one and push the tying run to third.

With the game on the line, Brooker made the move to Will Tucker.

After narrowly missing on the payoff pitch to the batter who represented the winning run and subsequently watching him move to second on defensive indifference, Tucker was faced with an even tighter circumstance. The 12-year-old pitcher proceeded to throw strikes, watching as the third one was fouled off on a bunt attempt, sealing the victory for Traeger&8217;s.