Majors take district title

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2005

After 17 years of coaching Dixie Majors baseball, one victory made those years of spending summers coaching on a baseball diamond instead of lounging by a swimming pool worth it for Ed Kimbro and John McGough.

The Greenville All-Stars scored four runs in the sixth and seventh innings to claim their first district championship with a 12-6 victory over Opp to earn a berth in the state Dixie Majors tournament in Thomasville next week.

"We had made it to the finals before and come away as runners-up, but never champions," Kimbro said. "I've never had a group of 18-year-olds come together and work as hard as this bunch."

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The district championship makes it all the more sweet for Kimbro and McGough, who both will retire from coach Dixie Majors baseball after this season.

"This (championship) is real sweet since this my last year coaching." Kimbro said. "I could have given up on coaching a long time ago, but somehow I just knew we would get there."

Opp jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the first inning on Greenville, which had outscored its opponents 25-2 over three games.

So Greenville responded by retaking the lead in the second inning by scoring three more runs for what seemed to be a comfortable 4-2 lead.

Then Greenville ran into trouble with errors.

Opp added two more runs in the fourth inning on two errors with two out to tie the game.

"I was like 'Oh, crap'' but I knew we would come through in the end," said Greenville All-Star Brandon Burnette. "I just knew we would win because this team is so solid."

Greenville did respond by scoring four runs on three hits in the top of the sixth inning.

Burnette led the inning off with a double to the gap in center field and later gave Greenville the lead for good when he scored on a Brady Newton hit that was mishandled by the Opp shortstop.

Cory Ausderau, who reached earlier on a single past the shortstop, scored when David Moore was hit by a pitch.

Adam Moore scored the third run on a wild pitch, and Newton scored on a fielder's choice by Josh Booker.

Opp tried to rebound and battle their way back in the game by scoring two more runs in the bottom half of the inning.

But Greenville finally put the game away by scoring four more runs in the top of the seventh by sending 10 batters to the plate.

Burnette, once again, opened the frame up with a double down the third base line.

All four runs scored on either a wild pitch or a hit batsman.