DeKalb Little League, Jr. League lose State Tourney openers

July 19, 2008

The DeKalb County 11 & 12 year old All-Stars lost their opening round game of the Little League State Tournament in Pulaski, Saturday, as Morristown dealt the local team a 3-1 loss in seven innings.

The game was a hot pitcher's duel between DeKalb County's Steven Page and Morristown's Weston Gilliam most of the way. Page worked six and one-third innings and allowed one run on two hits, struck out 12 batters and walked one, while Gilliam - who went the distance for Morristown - allowed one DeKalb run on four hits, struck out 17 and walked none.

DeKalb County struck first on a solo home run by Evan Cripps in the bottom of the second inning, which gave the local team a 1-0 lead. Morristown finally answered on an RBI single by Peyton McDaniel in the top of the fifth inning. The duel continued through the six regulation innings and on into the seventh.

In the top of the seventh, Page struck out Morristown's Logan Wallace to open the inning, but the lefty reached his pitch limit during the at bat. Braxton Howell came on in relief and struggled with his control. Howell hit three batters and walked another, and Morristown worked two runners across the plate on a pair of wild pitches. After only one-third of an inning, Howell left the mound in favor of Cody Harrell, who struck out Clay Rutherford to end the threat.

Nearing the end of his pitch count, Gilliam had just enough pitches to strike out DeKalb's side in the bottom of the seventh, as Morristown claimed the 3-1 victory.

In addition to his mound effort, Page was 3-for-3 at the plate with a trio of singles, as DC had four total hits in the game. Morristown had only two hits; the RBI single by McDaniel and a double by Luke Mullins.

DeKalb County drops into the loser's bracket, where they will play Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in Pulaski. The team must win in order to keep their tournament hopes alive.

Meanwhile, the DeKalb 13 & 14 year old Junior League All-Stars lost their tournament opener to Clarksville, 16-1, on Saturday. The local team drops into an elimination bracket game on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. central time. The Junior League State Tournament is being played in South Holeston, TN, near Bristol in upper East Tennessee.

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