- Last Updated on 06:24 PM 07/21/13
- BY Joe Chandler
After having suffered an early-round loss, the South Boston Dixie Majors all-star team won its final three games, including two over neighboring rival Mecklenburg County, to win the Virginia Dixie Majors State Tournament and advance to this weekend’s Dixie Majors World Series.
South Boston will open World Series play Saturday in North Charleston, S.C., facing Georgia in its opening game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
This Virginia championship was one of the more hard-earned ones for the South Boston team in recent years. Facing possible elimination, South Boston edged previously unbeaten Mecklenburg County 6-4 here Thursday night at C.H. Friend Field in a game that was started Tuesday at the state tournament site in Dillwyn, but was delayed twice by weather.
After that win, South Boston returned to Dillwyn on Friday and eliminated Carroll County 10-1, setting up Saturday night’s championship game and a rematch with Mecklenburg County, which South Boston won 11-5 in nine innings.
That contest was a dandy, with the two teams tied at 5-5 at the end of the regulation seven innings, and South Boston exploding for six runs in the top of the ninth inning to capture the state championship.
South Boston started the big ninth inning with a double from William Worley and a single from Joe Martin. A sacrifice by Ryan Yates plated Worley to put South Boston up 6-5.
A walk to Dylan Hendricks loaded the sacks and a walk to Derek Conner forced in Martin to give South Boston a two-run cushion. Jacob New lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Hendricks and put South Boston up 8-5.
Andrew Hamlett reached base on an error to add another run. Ford Bradshaw followed with a run-scoring double, and Nick Anderson walked to load the bases. Worley was hit by a pitch at his turn at the plate, forcing in South Boston’s final run of the game.
Mecklenburg County had its share of scoring opportunities but was unable to capitalize. In the fourth inning, sixth inning and seventh inning, Mecklenburg County had the bases loaded with one out but failed to score.
Conner went to the mound for South Boston with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fourth inning to relieve starting pitcher Ryan Puryear. Once he stepped onto the mound, Conner found himself in a battle against Mecklenburg County hurler Reed Duffer. Conner won that battle, finishing the game for South Boston, allowing no runs, two hits and four walks the rest of the way.
South Boston had 10 hits in the game with Yates, Hendricks and New each getting two hits. Worley, Martin, Bradshaw and Hamlett each had one hit in the contest.
Joey Jones and Andrew Watson had two hits each to lead Mecklenburg County, which had six hits in the contest.
South Boston started its march to the state championship with a 6-4 win over Mecklenburg County here Thursday night in a game that was stopped in the middle of the fourth inning Tuesday night at the state tournament site in Dillwyn.
While South Boston got command of that game early, there were some anxious moments in the top of the seventh inning when, with South Boston leading 6-1, Mecklenburg County rallied to score three runs to cut South Boston’s lead to two runs.
South Boston got itself out of the late jam when catcher Avery Anderson rifled a throw to Hendricks at third base to nail Mecklenburg County runner Brett Cliborne, who was attempting to steal third base, to get the final out of the game.
South Boston had nine hits in the game, with Nick Anderson and Avery Anderson each getting two hits, and Worley, Martin, Hendricks, Puryear and Hamlett each getting one hit.
Mecklenburg County had six hits with Alex Ingram leading the team with two hits.
A seven-run explosion in the fourth inning allowed South Boston to roll up an easy 10-1 win over Carroll County Friday night.
South Boston had 11 hits, with Nick Anderson, Yates and Hendricks getting two hits each. Bradshaw, Worley, Martin, Hamlett and Puryear had one hit each.
Bradshaw had a solid outing on the mound, allowing one run and four hits while fanning seven Carroll County batters.