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Indians, Braves do battle

DEMOPOLIS &8212; For nearly two hours, rain delayed Monday night&8217;s semi-final game in the 9-10-year-old age division of the Cal Ripken Youth Baseball League. After much waiting and wondering on the part of players, coaches and parents, the Sellers and Company Indians lead the BankTrust Braves 16-7 at press time.

Carson Parten scored the game&8217;s opening run in the bottom of the first, crossing home plate on a Drew Jones RBI groundout.

The Indians roared back in the top of the second, plating seven runs in the frame. The big blow of the inning came when Dee Mackins stroked a 2-out, two-run single to plate R.J. Cox and Chandler Barton.

The Braves fought back for one run in the home half of the inning, cutting the score to 7-2 when Jeremy Chu scored on a Lewis single.

Sellers and Company put together another big inning in the top of the third when Matt Beckum and Logan Fendley managed back-to-back singles to start the rally.

Three straight walks plated one run befor Mark Joseph Johnson stepped to the plate, ripping a ball into the left-center field gap. The ball caromed to the fence, allowing Johnson to come all the way around and complete the grand slam.

The Braves responded in the bottom of the third relying on a passed ball to cash in on a Ryan Morrison leadoff triple, cutting the score to 12-3.

The Indians pushed the lead back to 10 in the fourth inning when Fendley scored on an Adam Sellers single.

Facing the 10-run rule and the end of their season, the Braves again capitalized on a passed ball to keep the campaign alive. Parten, who had reached on a leadoff walk before moving up to third on head&8217;s up base running, scored on a loose ball during a Deandre Armstead at-bat, cutting the score to 13-4 and keeping the game alive.

The Indians appeared to have put the game away for good in the top of the fifth when Johnson, Cox and Beckum all scored during a three-run rally.

Down 16-4 in the bottom of the fifth, the Braves continued to play small ball, scoring two runs without the benefit of a hit. Clay White then drew a two-out, bases empty walk to extend the game before Jones stroked a triple to score the run and cut the lead to 16-7.

The winner of the contest moves on to face the Collins Communications Cubs in tonight&8217;s championship round. That game is slated for a 5:30 start. Should the Cubs lose the first game, a second will follow to honor the double-elimination format.