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AA’s fall in tourney

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Robert Howey
rhowey@thelancasternews.com
The Lancaster Dixie Baseball AA all-stars saw their postseason hopes end with a pair of losses in the Dixie Youth Baseball Regional tournament at the Ace Basin Sports Complex in Walterboro on Sunday, July 28.
The Lancaster all-stars, ages 7-8, fell to Fairhope, Ala., 4-0 in their first game on Sunday and then dropped a 4-3 loss to Perry, Ga.
Lancaster, which went 1-2 in the double-elimination tournament, opened play Saturday with a 10-9 win over Albany, Ga.
In the opener Sunday, Fairhope, the Alabama state champion, scored two runs in the first inning and added single runs in the third and fifth innings on the way to the shutout win.
“No team has held Fairhope to under 10 runs during the playoffs,” Lancaster coach Jimmy Jackson said. “We had a well-played game on defense.”
Jackson saluted Joey Sanders for his defensive effort.
“He had an outstanding defensive game for us,” Jackson said. “He made plays during the whole tournament on some hard-hit balls.”
Hunter Sims and Carter Nunnery each had two hits. Sanders had a hit and Joaquin Espinoza had a double.
In the second game Sunday, the Lancaster AA stars dropped the one-run loss to Perry, Ga.
“It was a case of not getting the big hit in this game,” Jackson said. “We stranded nine baserunners in the game and we couldn’t get the big two-out hit.”
Jalen McGriff and Landon Peavy each had two hits in the game. Eli Sistare had a hit, two RBIs and scored a run.
Carter Nunnery rapped a double and scored a run. Adam Wright had a hit and tallied a run.
Brady Jackson also had a hit.
Coach Jackson also saluted Hunter Gainey.
“He’s one of our younger players, but he really boosted his teammates,” Jackson said. “He was a good teammate throughout our tournament play. I enjoyed coaching him.”
Jackson also noted Andrew Taylor had a solid game at first base.
“He was great at first and made some outstanding plays,” Jackson said.
Jackson also saluted the AA stars’ coaching staff of Jason Wright, Brian Sistare and Gene Knight.
“Those guys were great and were fun to work with in our postseason run,” Jackson said. ‘They contributed well. Our team mom, Erin Sims, was outstanding and we appreciate all she did for us in taking care of things, so we could focus on coaching baseball.
“Our parents, grandparents and fans were outstanding and we appreciate the Lancaster Dixie Baseball Board for their support,” he said.
The Lancaster AA stars, 8-4 in the postseason, opened the playoffs with a sweep of the District Two tournament in Union.
The district title earned the AA stars a bid to the state tournament in Georgetown where they finished as the state runner-up with a 4-2 mark.
Lancaster dropped its opener to Aynor, but rebounded to win four straight games before falling and earning the state runner-up finish.
Lancaster, 1-2 in the regional tournament, placed sixth in the 12-team field.
“I thought we had a good playoff run and represented Lancaster Dixie Baseball real well,” Jackson said. “I’m proud of these players and what they accomplished this season.”
Stars win opener
The Lancaster Dixie Baseball AA all-stars opened the Dixie Youth AA Regional in Walterboro with a 10-9 win over the Albany, Ga., stars on Saturday, July 27.
Lancaster built an 8-1 lead after three innings and held on for the close win.
Albany rallied to make it 8-7, but in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Lancaster scored two runs as L’Trel Craig delivered a two-out, two-run single for a 10-7 lead.
Albany rallied to slice the lead to 10-9, but Lancaster held on.
Adam Wright led the Lancaster offense with three hits. Joey Sanders drilled a triple and a double and drove in four runs.
Eli Sistare, Brady Jackson, Carter Nunnery and Craig each had two hits.
Hunter Gainey and Jalen McGriff each had a hit and drove in a run.
Lancaster fell in the pool play game, falling to West Seminole, Fla.
Hunter Sims led the offense with two hits. Joaquin Espinoza had a hit and drove in a run. Landon Peavy drilled a triple for the Lancaster stars.