Alabaster earns 10th place at World Series

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Alabaster Dixie All Stars finished 10th in the 11-year-old USSSA World Series in Overland Park, Kan.

The tournament consisted of 108 teams from across the United States and Canada.

The top 10 11-year-old teams in the U.S. and Canada were competing in the World Series.

The tournament was held July 21-28.

The World Series started with four-team pool play on Monday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 23.

In game No. 1 on Monday, Alabaster beat the Fayette Reds of Georgia, 10-2. Jordan Chism pitched three innings, striking out four batters. Chase Traffica pitched the fourth inning to close out the Reds.

Leading Alabaster at the plate were Zach Smith going 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored and Chism going 1-for-2 with a home run, two RBI and scoring 2 runs.

In game No. 2 of pool play on Monday, Alabaster beat the NKC Cardinals of Missouri. 12-4. Bradley Patton and Chism limited the Cardinals to three hits while combining for seven strikeouts.

Offensively, Alabaster was led by Nick Bili’s solo home run. Steve Ward went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Patton was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Andrew Steele went 2-for-2 with 2 runs scored.

In game No. 3 (the final game of pool play on Tuesday), Alabaster faced Arkansas’ state champions, the Arkansas Travelers.

The Travelers beat Alabaster 7-2. Alabaster was led by Chism going 2-for-2 with a 2-run home run and two RBI.

Alabaster, with the 2-1 showing, advanced to the 54-team, double elimination championship bracket.

In game No. 1 of the championship bracket last week, Alabaster opened against the Iowa Saints.

Alabaster defeated the Saints, 5-1. Smith and Marcus Edwards limited the Iowa team to two hits and struck out seven.

Offensively, Corey Kimbrel hit a solo home run and Steele went 2-for-2 with 1 run scored.

In game No. 2, Alabaster faced the Texas state champions, the Bay Area Dawgs. The Dawgs went 3-0 in pool play and were 22-0 on the season.

The Dawgs jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one-and-one-half innings. Alabaster came back in the bottom of the second inning, scoring 4 runs led by Blake Strevel’s two-RBI double to take a 4-3 lead.

Alabaster added 2 more runs in the third inning to take a 6-3 lead. The Texas state champs fought back with 2 runs in the fifth inning to cut the Alabaster lead to 6-5. Smith came in to pitch the fifth and sixth innings in relief of Chism for the save.

Offensively, Strevel was 1-for-2 with two RBI. Kimbrel also had a double.

In game No. 3 of double elimination play, Alabaster faced Tornado Baseball of Mississippi, the eventual World Series champions.

Alabaster jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and after one-and-one-half innings led 4-0. Tornado Baseball came back and scored 6 runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 6-4 lead. Tornado Baseball went on to win 12-4. Edwards hit a 3-run home run for Alabaster.

Alabaster faced the Stafford Hurricanes from Virginia in game No. 4 on Thursday. Alabaster jumped on the Hurricanes early with 5 runs in the first inning.

The Hurricanes could never recover, as Alabaster pounded out 18 hits en route to a 12-8 win. Ward, Traffica and Kimbrel led Alabaster on the mound.

At the plate Bili hit his second home run of the World Series, a 3-run shot. Bili went 4-for-4 on the day with three RBI. Edwards was 4-for-4 with two RBI.

In game No. 5, Alabaster faced the Katy Cowboys, the overall No. 6-ranked team in the tournament and the No. 2-ranked team in Texas. Alabaster fell behind 3-0 after two innings but scored 4 runs in the third inning to take a 4-3 lead. The Cowboys came back to score two runs in the fourth inning to regain the lead 5-4.

The score remained that way until the top of the sixth. Patton led off the inning with a line-drive single. Blake McKenzie walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Smith then singled to load the bases. Chism drove in the tying run on a fielder’s choice. McKenzie scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball to give Alabaster a 6-5 lead.

Alabaster held off the Cowboys in the bottom of the sixth inning to get the win. Chism pitched the first three innings with Smith finishing up the final three. Alabaster was led at the plate by Smith and Bili, each going 2-for-4.

In game No. 6, Alabaster faced the Madison Maulers. The Maulers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. After four innings, it was 4-2 in favor of the Maulers. Alabaster could never get the bats going and fell to the Maulers, 8-4. Stevie Ward hit a solo home run for Alabaster. The team was coached by David &uot;Chopper&uot; Strevel (manager) and Andy Smith and Glenn Traffica (assistant coaches)