Alabama power sends Critters to losers’ bracket

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 24, 2001

[07/24/01] The Culkin Critters’ quest for a Dizzy Dean World Series title took a detour Monday night against Alabama powerhouse Center Point.

The Alabama all-stars scored six runs in the first two innings en route to an 8-2 win in the 12-year-olds’ series at Oak Grove.

The Critters will play Wills Park, Ga., Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. With a win, Culkin will meet the winner of Northport, Ala., and Grenada on Wednesday.

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To reach the championship, Culkin must win three games in a row.

“We’re confident we can get there,” assistant coach Joe Tarnabine said. “I feel like the two best teams played last night.”

Cody Ferguson drilled a fourth-inning home run and several Culkin players had one hit apiece.

Kyle Calhoun led off the sixth inning with a deep shot to right-center field, but the Center Point center fielder jumped the fence and caught the would-be home run with his glove over the fence.

“We hit the ball hard, but it was right at them,” Tarnabine said. “It seemed like everything they hit was in the gap. They were a pretty sporty team.”

Cole Smith took the loss.

“They were a very good fastball-hitting team,” Tarnabine said. “They jumped out on us early.”

Six teams remain in the series. Oak Grove, the host team, plays Center Point Tuesday night in the winners’ bracket finals at 8 p.m.

Culkin, if its wins, will play two games on Wednesday.