Demopolis 12U finishes as state runner-up

Published 8:34 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2009

After tearing through the District 10 tournament, the Demopolis 12-year-old Cal Ripken headed up to Rainbow City for the state draw with high expectations.

The group was able to surpass even its own high expectations and bring a second place trophy back to Demopolis.

The hot bats that Demopolis took into play, however, did seem to quiet once the team got to Gadsden.

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“We faced the best pitching in the state and they did a good job of keeping us off balance,” Demopolis head coach Rob Pearson said. “But our guys persevered and continued to play hard in every game.”

The boys finished second in the state behind defending champ Coosa.

“We finished second, which is an improvement from last year when we finished third,” said Pearson.

The 12U team went 2-3 in the tournament with all three of its losses coming to Coosa. Two of those defeats occurred in the championship round.

“We gave everything we had this week. The game with Childersburg was a classic and showed how much heart our kids have,” said Pearson.

Demopolis and Childersburg both came into the game 1-1 with a trip to the championship round on the line.

Demopolis took an early 3-1 lead before Childersburg roared back in the top of the sixth to pull ahead 4-3.

However, the boys from Demopolis would not be deterred as they answered back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the win.

“All these players learned a lot this week. They learned how to play within themselves and learned the virtues of not quitting,” Pearson said.

Though the team would end up falling in the final, Pearson said that the loss did not take away from what he thought was a great tournament by his squad.

“We were able to play some magical baseball this weekend,” said Pearson. “It may not have been quite enough, but I couldn’t be more proud of all 11 of our players. All 11 contributed and they all played with mental and physical toughness and were able to bring home some hardware.”