Schley County 12u All-Stars advance to Kiwanis Tournament Finals

Published 1:39 am Monday, June 11, 2018

Americus – Having defeated Lee County-Red 10-7 on Friday, June 8, the manhandling Baconton 14-1 on Saturday, June 9, the Schley County 12u All-Stars did just enough to secure themselves a spot in the semifinals of the 12u Division of the Kiwanis Baseball Tournament played Friday through Sunday, June 8-10, at the SCPRD baseball complex.

There were two Lee County teams in the 12u Division of the tournament. One was coached by Jeff Hall and had players with different colored uniforms. The other was dressed in the traditional red of Lee County High School, and was coached by Ray Swain.

The Schley County team, like all of the teams participating in this tournament, was supposed to play three games in the pool-play format. However, the weather didn’t cooperate on Saturday as thunderstorms arrived around 2 p.m. and rained out the rest of Saturday’s action.

However, Schley County’s performance in the tournament up to that point was good enough to land them in the semifinals. They would play Lee County-Red on Sunday, June 10, at 2 p.m.

Schley County’s Jack Clark on the mound against the Lee County Red Team.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Schley would have to defeat a determined Lee County-Red squad twice to get to the finals. They were able to do so on Sunday, June 10, by scoring four runs in the fourth inning to secure a hard-fought 7-5 victory over Lee County-Red.

“That was a great game. That’s as good as it gets. Especially against a team like Lee County,” Schley County Head Coach Jake Smith said. “It’s a big county. We’re a Single-A school, so if we can come out and play with them, that says a lot.”

Jack Clark and Nick White led the way for Schley County. Clark went 3-for-3 with a single, two solo home runs and three RBIs. Nick White went 2-for-3 with a single and a solo home run.

Jalewis Solomon led off Schley County’s first at bat with a single, then stole second and third base. Clark drove Solomon home on a single.

Lee County-Red responded in their half of the first as Dozier Swain led off with a walk, followed by a single by shortstop Weston Bryan. After Gavin Smith drew a walk, Carter Singletary hit a sacrifice fly, driving in Swain for Lee County’s first run of the game.

The boys from Leesburg scored three more runs in the top of the second inning to take a 4-1 lead. The big blow came off the bat of Weston Bryan, who belted a two-run home run in that inning.

Schley County responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit to 4-3. Jack Clark led the inning off with a solo home run, followed by a single by Nick White. After a fielder’s choice by Trenton Stubbs, advancing White to second, Carson Westbrook reached on a bunt single, advancing White to third. Then Landon Godwin singled home white and advanced to second on the throw home. That would be all the runs Schley County would score that inning.

Second Baseman Destiny Lecroy went 1-for-2 with a double against Lee County.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

However, Schley County added four more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 7-4 lead. Part of this four-run barrage was powered by back-to-back home runs by Jack Clark and Nick White. For Clark, it was his second of the game. “My strategy at the plate was to be patient, wait on my pitch and drive the baseball,” Clark said. Lee County-Red tried to make a comeback in the top of the sixth as Gavin Smith walked, then advanced on a wild pitch and a single by Carter Singletary. Then Leroy Jackson hit into a double play. Kaden Muliford singled, driving home Smith, but that would be all the Lee County team could muster. Tyler Loewe flew out to end the game, giving Schley County a 7-5 win and a spot in the 12u Divisional finals.

“We just didn’t hit as much as they (Schley County) did. It’s as simple as that,” Lee County-Red Head Coach Ray Swain said.

For Lee County-Red, they were led in offense by Weston Bryan. Bryan went 3-for-3 at the plate with a single, a double and a two-run home run. Bryan’s double came in the fifth inning. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, then tried to score, but was thrown out a home plate.