Fairhope defeated Dothan 2-0 in an extra-inning thriller on Sunday night in the Dixie Boys 14U state baseball tournament at the Miracle Field Complex.
Earlier in the day, Enterprise blasted Auburn 13-1 in the other winner’s bracket game.
On Monday, Enterprise will play Fairhope at 1 p.m. in a battle of unbeatens.
Dothan will have to put the tough loss behind in a hurry in taking on Butler in an elimination game at 9 a.m. on Monday. In another elimination game, Auburn will play Piedmont at noon.
In other games Sunday in the loser’s bracket, Butler eliminated the Mountaineers 19-0 and Piedmont eliminated Ozark 7-3 to stay alive.
In the finale on Sunday, it was a pitching duel between Dothan’s Hunter Whitman and Fairhope’s Josh Gunther for most of the game.
Scoreless after seven regulation innings, Fairhope got the first run of the game in the top of the eighth when John Malone singled past second base with two outs to bring in Christian Armstrong from second. Brooks Brassfield also scored on the play when the throw to home got away to make it 2-0.
Armstrong had reached when a line drive went off the center fielder’s glove, and Brassfield reached when a grounder went off pitcher Whitman’s glove to set up the big hit by Malone.
In the bottom of the eighth after one was out, Ryder May reached on a single as Dothan tried to rally. Blake Wynn then ripped a line drive that was caught by second baseman Harrison Sparks, who then threw back to first to double off May and end the game.
Malone, who came on in relief of Gunther in the seventh, got the win on the mound. He allowed only the single to May in two innings of work.
Whitman was the tough loser. He pitched 7 2/3 innings and only allowed three hits. He struck out eight.
Gunther also gave up just three hits – two to Dylan Hatton and one to Wynn – over six innings of work. He struck out 11.
Dothan mounted the first scoring threat in the bottom of the fourth. Hatton led off with a single and Whitman followed with a walk. Carter Davis then sent a sharp grounder to third, which was fielded by Streed Crooms, who stepped on the bag and threw across to first trying to complete a double play. However, the throw was low and got past the first baseman, allowing Whitman to advance to third and Davis to second.
Gunther got out of the inning, though, by striking out Brody Lindsey and Hunter Williams to keep the game scoreless.
Fairhope had an opportunity in the fifth. With one out, Hunter Hughes reached when his grounder to second base took a bad hop. Crooms then put down a sacrifice bunt to move Hughes over to second. Whitman, however, got a ground out to shortstop for the third out.
In the top of the seventh, Gunther led off with a single and Ethan Estes came in as a courtesy runner. After a pickoff attempt, the throw back to the pitcher got away and Estes advanced to second.
After a fly out and strikeout and with Hughes at the plate, Estes broke for third and was safe after the ball was knocked loose from the third baseman’s glove on the tag.
However, Whitman got a strikeout of Hughes to keep it scoreless.
Enterprise 13, Auburn 1: Enterprise scored four times in the top of the first inning and never looked back.
Jackson Bailey walked, C.J. Wilkerson singled and Drew Shiver walked before Turney Nix cleaned the bases with a double to deep right field in giving Enterprise the early 3-0 advantage.
Two batters later, Jackson Whitworth singled in Nix and the rout was on.
Enterprise added two runs in the second inning, the first coming when Coleman Bragg scored on a wild pitch and the second when Bailey, who had singled and advanced to third, scored on a groundout off the bat of Shiver to make it 6-0.
In the fourth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Dylan Skinner hit a sharp grounder that got under the third baseman’s glove for two more runs to make it 8-0.
Auburn got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth when Chris Simmons, who had singled to open the inning, scored on a groundout off the bat of Tad Smith.
Enterprise made it 10-1 in the fifth when Bailey drove in two more with an RBI double to right field, which scored Dylan Grantham and Bragg.
The lead was padded in the seventh when Wilkerson ripped a double to deep center field with two outs to bring in two more runs. Wilkerson scored the final run when an Enterprise base runner was being pursued in a rundown.
Tristan Bartling started on the mound for Enterprise and was followed by Bragg and Skinner.