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Demopolis 8U eying Greensboro rematch

The Demopolis 8U Cal Ripken all-star team was forced to forfeit its 18-5 win over Greensboro Wednesday night after tournament officials upheld a protest on the grounds that an ineligible player had been used.

“It was brought to our attention that the player (in question) lives outside Demopolis’ geographical boundary,” Cal Ripken 8U District 10 Tournament Commissioner Rob Pearson said. “As such, the player is ruled ineligible, the game from (Wednesday) night has to be forfeited and the player may not play in any other games from here on out.”

Reportedly, the player who was deemed ineligible played the regular season with the Demopolis league, but resides in Greensboro. According to reports, a player on the Greensboro team recognized the Demopolis player as a classmate and informed his coaches of the matter.

“There’s no intention of trying to break the rules,” Pearson said of the occurrence.

Demopolis had locked up first place in the pool play round of the bracket after shelling Butler 18-2 Monday, Linden 23-6 Tuesday and Greensboro 18-5 Wednesday. However, the ruling sent Demopolis to a 2-1 record and a three-way tie for second place in the tournament.

While the now ineligible player participated in games Monday and Tuesday, tournament officials cited precedent in having Demopolis forfeit only the Greensboro game.

“I talked to the state commissioner and there is some precedence in the state that once you figure out there is an ineligible player, then you go back and forfeit the last game,” Pearson said.

During the game that now never officially happened, Demopolis jumped on top early, scoring eight runs in the first. Demopolis then added two scored in the second inning and eight more in the third to cruise to the win. D.J. Evans scored three runs in the game. Grant Patterson, Andrew Fuqua, Trey Malone, Tre Etheridge, Jackson Cox and Hunter Duren each scored twice while Payton Geary and Dustin Stephens scored one.

Per official Cal Ripken rules, the game goes down as a 6-0 loss for Demopolis, with Greensboro awarded one run for each frame in the six-inning contest.

Greensboro moved to 3-0 with the forfeit and locked up the No. 1 seed going into Saturday’s single elimination round. The top four teams from the pool play round advance to Saturday’s single-elimination draw. Linden and Sumter County were each mathematically eliminated from that mix following Wednesday evening’s competition .

Demopolis was knotted with Gilbertown and Butler at 2-1. The tie was broken Thursday when Demopolis blasted Sumter County 21-1. Butler edged Gilbertown 14-13. Those results left Demopolis the No. 2 seed for Saturday’s single-elimination round. It will face No. 3 seed Butler in Butler at 7:30 p.m. Preceding that game will be Greensboro and No. 4 seed Gilbertown.

The teams that advance from that draw will play two game Monday night at the home of the highest remaining seed. Should those games be split, a decisive third game to settle the championship will be played at the home of the lowest remaining seed Tuesday.