8u Sumter County All-Stars finish in third place in District Tournament
Published 11:03 pm Monday, July 2, 2018
By Staff Reports
THOMASVILLE – The 8u Sumter County All-Star baseball team fought extremely hard in the GPRA District Tournament, but fell short of becoming one of the top two teams to go to the Georgia Parks and Recreation Association (GPRA) State Tournament. The district tournament was played in Thomasville, GA Saturday through Tuesday, June 23-26.
The Sumter County All-Stars got off to a good start on Saturday, June 23, the first day of competition. Sumter County defeated the Moultrie 2 All-Stars 9-1 Saturday morning. Second baseman Kyler Hoffman went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Shortstop Noah Mixon and right centerfielder Hayes Hagerson both doubled and drove in RBIs. Catcher Max Kelley, left centerfielder Wes Brock, designated hitter Connor Ash and right fielder Logan Webb all added hits and drove in RBIs as well.
Game 2 for the Sumter County All-Stars was played Saturday afternoon. Sumter faced the Grady County All-Stars from Cairo, GA. Grady County went up 6-4 on Sumter, but the boys from Americus rallied in the late innings to move ahead 12-6. Grady County scored one more run, but it wouldn’t be enough as Sumter County won their second straight game of the tournament by the score of 12-7.
First baseman William Webb went 3-for-4 with one RBI and second baseman Kyler Hoffman went 3-for-3 with one RBI. The next game for Sumter County was against the Moultrie 1 All-Stars on Monday, June 25. The winner of this game would go to the District Championship. However, Sumter County gave up three unearned runs in the first inning, which would ultimately prove to be costly as Sumter County fell to Moultrie 1 by the score of 11-8. Shortstop Noah Mixon and right centerfielder Hayes Hagerson both had doubles, while Kyler Hoffman went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Leftfielder Kavoris Edmonds, designated hitter Connor Ash and third baseman Charlie Kellam all added base hits at crucial times during the game.
Having lost a game, Sumter County fell into the losers’ bracket. They would have to win out in order to win the District Championship. They would have to beat the host team, Thomasville, for a chance to go to the District Championship. This game was played on Tuesday, June 26. Unfortunately for Sumter County, they gave up too many unearned runs in the first inning and ultimately fell to Thomasville 10-5, ending their hopes to advance to the state tournament.
Mason Dowdey went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Third baseman Charlie Kellam and Shortstop Noah Mixon were solid defensively, having the most defensive put-outs,
Sumter County ended up finishing the tournament in third place. They will not be going to the GPRA State Tournament, being that only the top two teams advance.
“I am most proud of our team for two reasons: First of all, every player that we have on All-Stars progressed and their offensive and defensive skill levels improved over the all-star season,” Sumter County Head Coach John Mixon said. “They put as much hard work and grit into each practice as they did on the field when they were playing. It was all live and on the line.”
Coach Mixon went on to say that he, along with Assistant Coach Steve Brock, stress to the kids that you play how you practice. “Each player bought in and took it to heart, really giving their all every time we met for practice,” Mixon said. “Second of all, we put a first-class team on the field in every way and in every tournament we played in. We were competitive with anyone in the state. The attitude of our players and the sportsmanship that they showed throughout every tournament was second to none.”
Mixon continued by saying that All-Star baseball is very demanding on the players, coaches and all of the families involved. He stated that his team played almost twice the amount of games that they played in their regular season in half the amount of time. Coach Mixon went on to thank the parents for their support, as well as the local businesses for sponsoring and paying the way to some of the tournaments they played in. “Each one of us involved in the 8u Sumter All-Stars will look back on this as one of our favorite summers ever,” Mixon said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of the group we got the chance to coach this summer. I know that the future for Sumter County Baseball is very bright.”