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Demopolis 8U team wins District 10 title

Demopolis won the Cal Ripken 8U District 10 championship Monday evening, defeating Gilbertown 32-9 and 15-5 to wrap up a week-long tournament in which it unofficially outscored opponents 133-32.

“They hit the ball well,” Demopolis head coach Ronnie Cox said of his players. “They hit the ball hard.”

After lambasting Gilbertown in the first game, which included a single inning that saw Demopolis score 20 runs, Cox’s team started off sluggish in game two.

“The first inning we didn’t score any,” Cox said. “I told them ‘You just have to suck it up and go play the game.’ And they did.”

Demopolis erased a 5-0 deficit in the second inning when Will Turberville roped a two-run double to tie the game. Grant Patterson then pushed Demopolis ahead to stay when he scored Turberville on a single that put his team up 6-5. Those two hits were part of a 10-run second inning for Demopolis.

Still, it was not until the fourth inning that Demopolis put the game out of reach. After being retired in order in the third frame, Demopolis broke out for five runs in the fourth to end the game via the 10-run rule.

“I hated that we didn’t get the subs in,” Cox said. “They were going in in the fifth and sixth. I had no idea we were going to score five runs in that inning.”

Trey Etheridge, Payton Geary, Jackson Cox, Hunter Duren and Dustin Stephens each scored two runs in the second game while Hayes Atkins, Trey Malone, Andrew Fuqua, Patterson and Turberville each added one.

In the first game, Turberville and Atkins each accounted for a quartet of runs. Patterson, Fuqua, Malone, Etheridge and Duren crossed the plate three times apiece. Durne also accounted for a home run. Geary, Stephens, Hagen Shannon and Rontrerreal Smith scored a pair of runs while Cox added one.

But as impressive as Demopolis’ offensive prowess was throughout the tournament, it was team’s ability to make plays in the field that caught the attention of many observers. Playing in an age group where fly balls most commonly find their way to the outfield turf, the Demopolis group accounted for a number of outs. That trend continued during Monday’s competition.

“They did a great job,” Cox said. “They executed everything that we told them. Relays. We told them to get the ball in and they threw out three runners at third base tonight.”

While Cox was appreciative of his team and its efforts, it was the assistance of his coaching staff that he credited with much of the success.

“I wanted to give my coaches the credit,” Cox said of Jason Turberville, Roger Etheridge and Gary Malone. “They have stepped up. I really appreciate their help.”

The win qualifies Demopolis for the Cal Ripken 8U state tournament in Alex City July 3-7.