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South Boston Dixie Majors come up short

Twice over the course of the final two nights of the Virginia Dixie Majors State Baseball Tournament the South Boston Dixie Majors all-stars pulled themselves out of the grasp of almost certain defeat. They just couldn’t do it a third time.

After having rallied in the final inning to score a come-from behind 10-9 win over Carroll County Tuesday night to stave off elimination, South Boston bounced back to defeat previously unbeaten Goochland 10-9 early Wednesday night to force an extra game to determine the state championship.

That proved to be the end of the road for the tournament host, as Goochland ran off to a 16-2 lead before settling for a 16-6 victory that gave it the state championship and a berth in the Dixie Majors World Series.

Six home runs, two by South Boston’s Scott Rickman and four by Goochland, punctuated the game.

Despite the loss in the championship game, South Boston Manager Dale Trent said he could not have been more pleased with his team’s effort.

“I’m absolutely proud of them,” Trent said.

“This group of kids has a lot of heart. They gave it all they had. I can’t ask any more out of them. We just ran out of steam.”

Rickman was one of the key figures in South Boston’s success over the final two nights of action. Rickman was four-for-four at the plate with four RBIs in South Boston’s win Tuesday night win over Carroll County. He had a hit and one RBI in Wednesday’s opening game win against Goochland and smacked two home runs, a solo shot in the second inning and a solo shot in the fourth inning, in Wednesday night’s loss in the championship game.

“Scott didn’t run out of steam,” Trent pointed out.

“He never runs out of steam. He hit the ball well the whole tournament.”

South Boston found itself in a tough situation after losing to Goochland 14-3 in five innings in Monday night’s round. The defending state champion trailed Carroll County 9-5 entering the bottom of the final inning in Tuesday night’s elimination game, but scored five runs, the last coming on a walk-off run-scoring single by Patches Trent, to score the come-from-behind win.

South Boston had 11 hits in the game, with Rickman’s four-for-four effort leading the team. William Worley had three hits, Patches Trent had two hits and Joe Martin and Fluff Trent each had one hit.

Carroll County had eight hits with Jordan Lamb, who had a home run and a double and four RBIs, leading the team.

That win pushed South Boston into Wednesday night’s championship round against Goochland and South Boston responded by handing Goochland its only loss of the tournament.

Unlike Monday’s meeting between the two teams, South Boston jumped on top early, to gain a 3-2 lead after three innings. Goochland rallied for four runs in the fourth inning to move in front 6-3.

A seven-run rally in the fifth inning put South Boston back on top 10-6. South Boston scored its first run of the inning when Patches Trent walked with the bases loaded, forcing in a run.

Worley smacked a ground-rule double that produced two runs. Rickman followed with another two-RBI ground-rule double that bounced over the fence to put South Boston up 9-6. Another run scored on a sacrifice fly by Luke Griles to put South Boston up 10-6.

The drama built up again as Goochland scored a run in the sixth inning and added two runs in the seventh inning, coming up a run shy of extending the game.

Halifax had 10 hits in the game, with Worley coming up with two doubles and two RBIs, Griles adding a pair of hits and two RBIs, and Patches Trent getting two hits to lead the South Boston effort.

Aron Puryear, Rickman, Martin and Fluff Trent each had one hit. Martin had two RBIs.

Despite having some momentum heading into the championship game, South Boston saw Goochland quickly take it away.

South Boston kept the game close early, trailing 3-2 after three and a half innings. Goochland scored three runs in the fourth inning, one run in the fifth inning, four runs in the sixth inning and five runs in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach.

South Boston trailed 16-2 before scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to make the score more respectable. The big hit for South Boston was a run-scoring double by Jonathan Turner.

Goochland held South Boston to five hits with Rickman leading the way with his two homers. Puryear had a hit, Reid Roller had a double in the third inning and Turner had a run-scoring hit in the final inning.

Goochland had 11 hits in the game with Dylan Wratchford leading the team with four hits that included home runs in the third and sixth innings and a double. Clark Wilson had three hits.