Brunswick County Dixie Boys, the North Carolina representative in the Dixie Boys Baseball 14U World Series in Sterlington, La., had an up and down start to the tournament, which began play on July 23.
Brunswick County won their first round game, beating Jefferson Parish, La. 10-9 and then losing later the same day to Hattiesburg, Miss. 15-2.
With no more room for error in the double elimination tournament, Brunswick County faced a team from Auburn, Ala. on July 24 and ran away with the game 14-1.
The team’s second win of the World Series put them in a matchup with Washington County, Ga. on Monday afternoon, July 25, which the North Carolina team was winning 6-1 in the sixth inning, but was not over before the Beacon went to press.
Brunswick County 14, Auburn, Ala. 1
Brunswick County bounced back from a second-round mercy-rule loss by making short work of the team from Auburn, Ala., winning 14-1 in five innings.
Gage Hickman got on base to lead off top of the first inning and came home on Will Jones’ two-run home run that gave the North Carolina team the early lead.
Alabama’s only run came in the bottom of the first inning with a leadoff single, the first of three hits that loaded the bases and brought the runner home from third base on a two-out walk with a 3-2 count, to make it a 2-1 score going into the second inning.
In the top of the second, Josiah Sneed, Michael Peterson and Hickman all walked to load the bases. Jonah Campbell and Jones each had a run-scoring hit and then Fisher Goodwin scored an RBI on a sacrifice ground ball. Dylan Stacks then singled into the outfield to drive in two more runs that extended the Brunswick County lead to 7-1.
Brunswick County starting pitcher Jonah Campbell had a strikeout and forced a pair of fly balls into the outfield to make it a 1-2-3 inning for Alabama.
Brunswick County added another run in the top of the third inning off a single by Peterson, who took second on a fly ball to center field by Noah Faulders and then came home on a pair of wild pitches to make it an 8-1 game.
Alabama could only muster a one-out single in the bottom of the inning before a strikeout and fly ball out ended their at-bat.
Brunswick County had a three-up, three-down inning in the fourth but then tried to quickly shut down Alabama with a pair of force outs on ground balls to Faulders at shortstop, who made both plays to Fisher Goodwin at first.
But Alabama hung on to load the bases on three straight walks before Campbell ended the inning with a strikeout.
In the fifth inning, Brunswick County put the game away by starting off with four straight hits from Ryan Grisso, Josiah Sneed, Peterson and Faulders, which loaded the bases and drove in three runs. Then Campbell and Jones walked and Goodwin hit a line drive into the outfield to bring the runners in for the 14-1 lead.
In their last at-bat, Alabama went down swinging on a strikeout a fly ball to center field and another Faulders to Goodwin force out at first to end the game.
Hattiesburg 15, Brunswick Co. 2Brunswick County was the home team while facing Hattiesburg, Miss. in their second game.
Hattiesburg scored three runs each in the first, second and third innings before ending the game early with a six-run fourth to beat Brunswick County by a total of 15-2.
In the top of the first inning the Mississippi teams’ leadoff batter walked, but then Brunswick County made two outs.
Hattiesburg responded with a single and a walk to load the bases and then a double that drove in all three runners for a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first Hickman singled to lead off, moved to second on a ground ball by Campbell and then Jones hit an RBI-single to bring in the run and cut the lead to 3-1.
Brunswick County got two outs to start the second inning but then Hattiesburg had a pair of singles to drive in a run and then a hit-batter put two runners on base for a two-RBI single that made it a 6-1 game.
Brunswick County batters went down in order in the bottom of the second and Hattiesburg went right back to work scoring runs in the top of the third.
A walk and two singles loaded the bases and then a hit into right field scored two runs, although Brunswick County right fielder Jones threw the batter out at second where Stacks, the shortstop, was covering the base.
But with a runner on third, Hattiesburg hit a two-out single to drive the run in and take a 9-1 lead.
Skipper singled for Brunswick County to lead off the bottom of the third inning, which was followed by a pair of RBI singles from Hickman and Campbell that cut the score to 9-3.
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Hattiesburg exploded in the fourth inning after a hit-batter and a walk set the table for a two-run double, back-to-back singles that scored another run and a two-run homerun that decided the game with the 15-3 final score.
Brunswick Co. 10, Jefferson Parish 9
Starting the World Series as the home team against Jefferson Parish, Brunswick County took the lead in the second inning when Goodwin led off with a double, then Stacks singled and Grisso hit a sacrifice ground ball to drive in a run.
Faulders then walked to put two runners on base. Peterson had a sacrifice grounder to drive in the second run. Grayson Skipper’s hit into right field scored the third run.
Hickman followed with a hit into right field to score a run and make it a 4-0 game.
Jefferson Parish cut into the Brunswick County lead in the top of the third with a pair of hits and a walk to load the bases, and then a sacrifice fly into right field to score two runs.
In the bottom of the third inning, Goodwin had another base hit. Grisso walked and Faulders drove in a run with a single into right field. Peterson followed with an RBI hit to give Brunswick County a 6-2 lead.
At the top of the fourth inning, Jefferson Parish had three walks to load the bases and then a single scored one run, a double drove in two more and a two-RBI single put the visitors ahead 7-6. A second double in the inning drove in one more run to make it an 8-6 game.
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Brunswick County retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth after Campbell reached base leading off when he was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a Jones walk and scored on a Stacks single. Stacks then scored on a Grisso hit into center field to tie the score 8-8.
Brunswick County retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Skipper singled and Hickman doubled to score the runner. Then Hickman came home on an RBI-double from Jones to put the home team up 10-8.
Brunswick County then held Jefferson Parish scoreless until their final at-bat in the top of the seventh, when the visitors rallied with two outs after a batter was hit by a pitch to reach first base, then a single and a double drove in a run to make the score 10-9, with runners at second and third.
But Brunswick County hung on to win with a strikeout to end the game.