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Demopolis defeats Saints in region opener

Demopolis (6-9, 1-0) opened region play with a 13-3 victory over Selma Thursday in the first of a three games against the Saints to be played over a two-day span.

Selma took the early lead when Eddie Thigpen came around to score after leading the game off with a single off Demopolis starter Chase Cameron.

The Tigers’ senior hurler quickly settled down and allowed only two more hits the rest of the way, working four innings while striking out six, walking one and hitting a batter.

His effort was backed up by a first inning that saw 14 Demopolis batters step to the plate and 10 hang runs on the board.

But the opening frame onslaught appeared unlikely as the Tigers had two outs before finally getting its first run to erase the early deficit.

“Area play is not like a regular season game. I tried to get them to elevate,” Selma coach Reggie Glover said. “We got off to a slow start and, with a game of this magnitude, you can’t afford that.”

The Saints plunked Cameron with the bases loaded to send Ben Pettus home for the first DHS run. From there, a string of errors and walks mixed with some timely Demopolis hitting proved Selma’s undoing.

Demopolis added to its total in the third inning by adding two runs to its tally and appeared destined to call it a day after it carried its 12-1 lead through four and two-thirds innings.

However, a misplay on a ground ball to the DHS third baseman extended the game, allowing Cornelius Woods to send it to the bottom of the fifth. Woods stepped in and snatched a pitch well beyond the trees behind the left field fence to cut the disadvantage to 12-3.

“Cornelius Woods, he’s been pretty consistent for us all year,” Glover said. “That’s his third or fourth homer this year.”

Demopolis responded in the home half of the fifth when Alex Sturdivant legged out an infield single to open the frame. He moved to second on a passed ball and advanced to third on a Bill Holemon grounder before scoring on a passed ball to end the game.

“I thought we were rather uninspired today,” Demopolis head coach Ben Ramer said. “Thirteen to three is a good thing if you come out and play sharp. I didn’t think we were sharp today.”

Sturdivant was 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored in the contest. Kole Thrasher was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs. Payne Hasty went 1-for-3 with a stolen base and two runs scored. Holemon was 1-for-3 with a walk, two runs and an RBI. Allen Tucker went 1-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs. Ben Pettus walked, reached on an error and scored two runs. William Steward walked, reached on an error, got hit by a pitch, scored a run and picked up an RBI. Taylor Polk walked and reached on an error. Tyler Charleston scored a run.

The teams will meet again Friday when Selma hosts Demopolis for a double-header scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

“We’ve got to come out here hungry and with a sense of urgency that every single pitch that is thrown is big for us and our season,” Ramer said.