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The Lancaster Dixie Baseball Ozone district champions will open state tournament play Saturday in Sumter when the LDB stars play Sumter American at Patriots Park at 12:30 p.m.
“I think our team will be ready to play,” Lancaster coach Scott Caskey said. “We have some momentum coming off winning the district tournament.”
The Lancaster Ozone all-stars swept to the district championship with a sweep of Rock Hill on July 13 at Gandy Field in the Wylie Park Complex.
The Lancaster stars captured the first game with a 2-0 win and then took the title and a bid to the state tournament with an 8-3 victory over Rock Hill.
Rock Hill, which gave Lancaster its only loss, entered the final day of play as the lone unbeaten, but the Lancaster stars rallied for the clutch wins and state tournament berth.
Dixie AA stars fall
The Lancaster Dixie Baseball AA all-stars, ages 7-8, went 1-2 in the state tournament in Dillon this week.
Lancaster fell to Hilton Head in its tournament opener on Saturday, but rebounded with a win over Delmae of Florence to stay alive on Sunday.
Later Sunday, the Lancaster Dixie Baseball AA stars were eliminated in a 6-4 loss to Abbeville.
“The game with Abbeville was a mirror of our state tournament experience,” Lancaster AA all-star coach Brad Small said. “We played great defense, but just didn’t get the timely hits when we needed them.”
The Lancaster stars had the bases loaded with two out in the fifth inning, but couldn’t get the key hit and lost a tough game.
“Our defense was solid, but our offense was off when we needed the clutch hit,” Small said.
Lancaster qualified for the state tournament, winning three games to capture the district crown in Lancaster last month.
“We had a good group of players and coaches,” Small said. “I also appreciate the fans, parents and Lancaster Dixie Baseball for their support throughout the season.
“We had our share of fans backing us at the state tournament,” Small said. “It was a lot of fun and that’s what baseball is about.”
The Lancaster Dixie Baseball AA all-stars: Cannon Stogner, Landon Deese, Ashton Phillips, Alex Griffin, Andrew Wright, Gavin Phillips, Landon Jordan, Tyler Trimnal, Phillip Mickles, Blayne Small, Zachary Blackmon and Kyle Percival. Small was assisted by Brian Trimnal, Brent Stogner and Freddie Robinson.