Alabaster 12-Year-Old All-Stars win state, head to World Series

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Special to the Reporter

On June 5-8 the Alabaster 12-Year-Old All-Stars traveled to Huntsville to play in the USSSA State Championship Tournament for the AAA Division.

A total of 14 teams competed in the AAA Division with Alabaster going a perfect 5-0 to take home the state championship.

Alabaster opened pool play by shutting out their first 3 opponents while Alabaster’s offense continued to pound the baseball, scoring 32 runs.

In game No. 1 Alabaster’s All-Stars played the Hoover Bucs. Alabaster scored 6 runs in the first inning, another in the second inning, 3 more runs in the third inning and 9 runs in the fourth inning to win convincingly 19-0.

Alabaster’s bats pounded out 19 hits to go with the 19 runs. Leading the way at the plate were Nick Bili going 2-for-4 with 5 RBI; Jordon Chism was 3-for-3 with 4 RBI; Marcus Edwards went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI; and Blake McKenzie was 2-for-2 with an RBI.

On the mound Bradley Patton and Corey Kimbrel shut down the Hoover Bucs’ bats allowing just 2 hits while combining to strike out 4 Bucs batters.

Game No. 2 had Alabaster facing the Hoover Jags.

Alabaster came out of the box slower in this game scoring a run each in the first, second and third inning before exploding for 7 runs in the fourth inning to win 10-0.

Zach Smith pitched 3 scoreless innings and Christopher Coates pitched the final inning for Alabaster.

Chism led the attack at the plate going 2-for-3 with 5 RBI which included a grand slam home run; Patton was 2-for-2 with 2 RBI; and Edwards 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and a solo home run

The final game of pool play had Alabaster playing the No. 1 team in the State in the AAA 12 Year Old Division, the Muscle Shoals Trojans.

Alabaster’s pitching once again dominated as Chase Traffica stifled the Trojans’ bats through the 3 innings allowing only 2 hits while striking out 2 Trojan batters.

Patton pitched the final 2 innings as Alabaster shut out the No. 1 team in the state 3-0.

Alabaster scored 1 run in each of the first, second and fourth innings led by Chism going 1-for-2 with an RBI. Stevie Ward added a solo home run in the second inning and Bili was also 2-for-3 for Alabaster.

After pool play Alabaster gained the No. 1 seed overall out of the final 8 teams that made the double elimination round.

Round 1 in the double elimination format had Alabaster facing once again the No. 1 team in the state in the AAA Division the Muscle Shoals Trojans.

This time Muscle Shoals jumped out to a 1-0 in the top of the first inning. It stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth inning when Alabaster scored 2 runs to take a 2-1 lead. Traffica opened the bottom of the fourth inning with a double to right center field. Coates then stepped to the plate and doubled off the top of the fence scoring Traffica to tie the score at 1-1.

Two batters later Patton singled up the middle scoring Coates to take the 2-1 lead. That was all Alabaster needed as the pitching held the Trojans in the top of the sixth inning and Alabaster advanced to the championship game with the 2-1 win.

Chism pitched a solid 4 innings for Alabaster, striking out 4 while allowing a hit.

Coates led Alabaster at the plate going 2-for-2 with 2 doubles and 1 RBI.

USSSA Championship Game

The AAA Championship game had Alabaster playing the No. 3 team in the state in the AAA Division, the Madison Maulers.

After both teams went scoreless in the first inning, Alabaster scored 2 runs in the second. Ward led off the inning with a single, stole second base and then two batters later Patton singled driving in Ward. McKenzie then singled to center field putting runners on first and third with 1 out.

Blake Strevel then singled to right field driving in Patton from third base to make the score 2-0.

Alabaster scored 3 more runs in the third inning. The inning started with back-to-back-to-back singles by Bili, Chism and Edwards.

Traffica then doubled scoring both Bili and Chism. Two batters later Kimbrel singled to center field scoring Traffica making the score 5-0 Alabaster.

The lead continued to build in the fourth inning as Chism’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Strevel from third base to increase Alabaster’s lead to 6-0 through 4 complete innings.

The Madison Maulers bounced back in the top of the fifth inning scoring 3 runs and 1 more run in the top of the sixth inning but that was as close as the Maulers could get. Alabaster scored 2 more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take home the USSSA State Championship in the AAA Division with an 8-4 win.

Ward went the distance for the win pitching 6 full innings while striking out 8 batters.

The weekend of May 30-June 1, Alabaster’s All-Stars went to Liberty Park and competed in an 8-team double elimination tournament. Alabaster swept through the tournament, winning 5 straight games to capture the championship.

Alabaster opened the tournament against the Pinson Valley Indians with a 20-7 win.

Alabaster came out swinging, scoring 6 runs in both the first and second inning to build a 12-3 lead.

It did not quit there as Alabaster’s All-Stars scored 4 more runs in each of the next 2 innings to seal the 20-7 win.

Every starter in Alabaster’s lineup had a hit and scored a run. Leading the way was Bili going 3-for-3, scoring 4 runs and had 3 RBI;

Ward was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI; Traffica was 2-for-3 and scored 2 runs; and Patton was 3-for-3 with 2 RBI. On the mound Patton and Kimbrel led the way, allowing Pinson Valley only 2 Hits.

In game No. 2 Alabaster’s 12-Year-Old All-Stars faced the Hoover Jags. Traffica and Chism shut down the Hoover Jags’ bats in Alabaster’s 9-0 win. Traffica and Chism limited the Jags to only 4 hits while striking out 4 batters. At the Plate Zach Smith led the way going 3-for-3, scoring 3 runs and had 2 RBI. Edwards also had a good game at the plate going 2-for-2 with 1 run scored and an RBI.

Game No. 3 of the Liberty Park Invitational Tournament had Alabaster playing the Alabama Copperheads. The score was 1-0 through 2 innings, but in the third inning Alabaster stretched their lead to 7-0 scoring 6 runs in the top of the third inning.

The inning started with Patton doubling to left center field, Patton then scored on Strevel’s single to left center field.

Smith then hit into a fielders choice before Bili singled to put runners and first and third base with 1 out. Chism then tripled to deep center field driving in Smith and Bili.

Marcus Edwards then reached on an error with Chism scoring on the play. Traffica then doubled scoring Edwards with Ward then also doubling driving in Traffica.

The Copperheads could only get a few runs late to make the final Score 7-3 Alabaster. Ward pitched 4 complete innings for the win, striking out 8 Batters.

Game No. 4 had Alabaster facing the Shades Mountain Bucs out of Hoover.

After a full inning it was tied at 2-2 but that was as close as Shades Mountain would get as Alabaster scored 6 runs in the second inning, 6 more runs in the third inning and 5 more in the fourth inning as Alabaster coasted to a 19-4 Win.

Leading the way for Alabaster at the plate were Ward going 3-for-3 with a home run, double and a single and 2 RBI; Bili was 2-for-3; with 3 RBI; Chism went 2-for-3 scoring 2 runs; Kimbrel was 2-for-3 with 3 RBI; Patton was 2-for-3 with 3 RBI; Nathan Pearce went 2-for-3 with an RBI; and Hunter Ward was 1-for-1 with an RBI.

On the mound Patton went the distance pitching 4 complete innings allowing only 4 hits while striking out 3 Shades Mountain batters.

The Championship game pitted Alabaster against Alabama Copperheads. Alabaster had already beaten the Copperheads once but this one was a little different.

Alabaster opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning putting 4 quick runs on the board. The Copperheads answered back in the top of the second inning making the score 4-3 after 1-1/2 innings.

However, Alabaster answered back scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the second inning to make the score after 2 complete innings 9-2 Alabaster. The Copperheads battled back with 2 runs in the fourth and 5 more runs in the fifth inning.

Alabaster scored a run in the fourth and fifth innings respectively to make the score after 5 full innings all tied up at 11-11.

In the sixth the Copperheads had a runner on first base with an out but Alabaster’s Bili threw out the runner stealing second base for the second out.

Traffica then struck out the next batter to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth inning Smith led off with a single to center field. Bili then came to the plate and was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second with no outs.

Chism then flew out to right field with Smith tagging and advancing to third base on the play.

Then after an intentional walk to Edwards to load the bases with one out, in steps Traffica. On an 0-2 count Traffica hits a hard ground ball just inside the first base line, the Copperheads first baseman dove and made the play at first base but Smith scored easily for the 12-11 win to make Alabaster’s 12-Year-Old All-Stars the Liberty Park Invitational champions.

Leading the way at the plate for Alabaster was Chism going 2-for-4 with 4 RBI; Smith was 3-for-4 scoring 3 runs and Traffica went 1-for-3 with 4 RBI.

Alabaster’s 12-Year Old All-Stars open Metro Tournament play this week before going to the USSSA World Series in Hutchinson, Kansas the week of July 20-27