For the second straight day, the Dothan Junior Dixie Boys 13U team won by the mercy rule in four innings, this time defeating Opelika 13-1 on Sunday, a day after beating Fairhope 12-0.
Host-team Dothan now gets to rest for a day before playing for the championship on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Miracle Field Complex against the winner of Monday’s elimination game between Fairhope and Opelika, set for 10 a.m. Fairhope remained alive in the double-elimination tournament by beating Troy 7-2 earlier on Sunday.
With Dothan being the only unbeaten team left in the tourney, the winner of the Fairhope-Opelika game would have to beat Dothan twice to claim the title.
Despite Dothan having defeated both of those teams by the mercy rule, head coach Brandon Dyer says his team can’t take anything for granted.
“The kids have got to still stay focused and know that just because they run-ruled both, that’s just baseball,” Dyer said. “You can come out one day and tear it up and the next day you can’t hit anything.
“We’ve just got to keep them focused and know they’ve got to battle from the top until the end.”
Dyer does believe having an off day will help the team refocus.
“I think it will do good for the kids, even though we’ve only played two games, just to get baseball off their mind for the day and come back here on Tuesday and set up for the championship game,” Dyer said.
Opelika scored its lone run in the top of the first inning when Aaron Standridge singled in Trent Moulton, who reached on an error to lead off the inning.
After pitcher Cam Dyer recorded his second strikeout of the inning, he walked the next two batters to load the bases before getting a strikeout to avoid any further damage.
Dyer gave up only one hit in three innings of work and struck out seven.
“He kept his composure and kept his head in the game and came out and gave us two more good innings,” the coach said of his starting pitcher. “He ended up throwing about 30 pitches in the first inning. We don’t want to pitch him too much, so we went ahead and got him out (after three innings).”
Win Brock pitched the fourth inning and didn’t allow a hit with two strikeouts.
Brock also had a big day at the plate. He drove in a run in the first inning with a single past first, had two more RBIs in the second with a single into left field and walked with the bases loaded in the third inning.
There was about a 30 minute weather delay in the bottom of the first inning with Dothan leading 3-1 – the first run coming on an error, the second on a groundout off the bat of Dyer and the third on Brock’s single.
In the second inning, Dothan scored four more runs to start pulling away.
Matt Dave Snell drove in the first two runs of the inning with a double to deep left field which scored Connor Cody, who led off with a double, and Bowden Lancaster, who followed with an infield hit.
Four batters later with two outs, Brock ripped a two-RBI single to score Snell and Gant Underwood in making it 7-1.
In the third inning, Dothan got a run on an error and another when Brock walked with the bases loaded before Aiden Wright singled into shallow left field to bring in two more in making it 11-1.
Dothan put it away in the fourth when Ethan McMahen walked, Snell doubled and Underwood singled in the final two runs of the game.