D#039;backs, Tigers early Dixie Youth winners

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2000

The Dixie Youth baseball season opened this week with one low scoring game between the Orioles and the Tigers and a slugfest between the Reds and Diamondbacks.

The Tigers escaped in the first game of the season with a 3-1 decision over the Orioles at Day Park on Tuesday evening.

The Tigers jumped on top early as Ben Coker led off with a walk. Caleb Blackburn earned the first big hit of 2000 with a triple that gave his team a 1-0 lead.

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Orioles pitcher Rico Johnson appeared to have gotten out of the jam when he struck out

the next batter and then caught Blackburn at home on a fielder's choice play. But, the next three batters were walked and Adam Moore scored the second run of the game on an error, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers threatened again in the second, but with two out and bases loaded Johnson struck out the batter to end the inning.

The Tigers added to their lead in the fourth when Eric Howard hit a double and then stole third base. He crossed the plate on an error to put the Tigers ahead, 3-0.

The Orioles cut into the lead during the top of the fifth inning. Conyers Poole began by lining a hit to centerfield for a triple with only one out in the inning. After Josh Womack recorded his 11th strikeout of the game against the next batter, Zach McCann came through with an RBI hit to right field, making the score 3-1.

Womack earned the win and recorded 15 strikeouts while Johnson was the losing pitcher, recording 12 strikeouts.

Diamondback 14, Reds 10

The Diamondbacks and Reds exploded for a combined 24 runs during their game and both teams were on the board early.

Reds' pitcher DeMonte Crenshaw got off to a shaky start as he walked the first two batters he faced. Lynn Lewis had the first hit of the game, scoring both of the runners to give the D'backs a 2-0 lead. Crenshaw then struckout two batters down the stretch to end the inning.

The Reds came right back in their half of the first as Justin Hester lined a hit down the left field line

and then came around to score on an error. But, Diamondback pitcher Ben Coker came up with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning with his team holding a 2-1 lead.

In the second, D'backs Jonathan Spann, Rolondon Purifoy and Andrew Phelps were all walked to load the bases with nobody out. Catcher Stephen Tilley hit a double, scoring two runs and another scored on a basehit by Lewis. Ben Coker also reached base in the inning and scored on an error.

After two more batters reached base, Crenshaw struck out the final two batters of the inning. But, the Diamondbacks had scored six runs in the inning to give their team a 8-1 lead.

Crenshaw got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning by earning a walk and then stealing second and third base. He scored on a fielder's choice by Dalton Gregory to make the score 8-2.

Phelps led off the third inning for the D'backs with his third walk of the game. Tilley and Douglas Oliver both reached to load the bases with no outs. A double off the bat of Lewis brought three runners home, making the score 11-2. He later scored on a wild pitch.

Crenshaw was able to get out of the inning by recording three strikeouts.

Behind 12-2, the Reds scored another run in the fourth after Jonathan Varner reached on an error and came around to score on a ground ball.

The Diamondbacks added to their lead in the fifth with two more runs scored by Lewis and Varner, who scored on a basehit by Mika Jones.

The Reds, looking for a dramatic comeback, led off the final inning with consecutive singles by Crenshaw and Clay Milton. One out later, a walk to Justin Sexton loaded the bases and began a string a six consecutive free passes, followed by Varner who was hit by a pitch. Hester drove in the final runs of the game, but it was not enough as the Reds were still down by four runs.

The winning pitcher was Coker who completed the game with five strikeouts and the loss went to Crenshaw who finished with nine strikeouts.