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Carrollton beats Blues for 11-year-olds title

Delmon Robinson of Vicksburg tries to leap past Madison catcher Michael Halford in 11-year-olds’ action. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[07/30/01] After a well-played 4-4 tie between the Vicksburg Blues and Carrollton, La., Saturday night, the stage was set for a classic when they met in the 11-year-olds’ Governor’s Cup championship game Sunday afternoon.

But an early series of errors and baserunning mistakes put the Blues in a hole they were never able to climb out of, and Carrollton walked away to the title with an 8-1 win.

“We knew it was a very good team and we were going to have to play well to win. We probably played our best game of the tournament here in the championship,” Carrollton coach Donald McKay said.

Carrollton jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first with the help of two Vicksburg errors and an RBI double by right fielder Rashad Foley.

The Blues had a chance to cut into the lead in the bottom of the inning when Delmon Robinson led off with a double and stole third, but he was caught between third and home on a ground ball back to Carrollton pitcher Evan Turkish for the first out.

Turkish then picked a runner off first and got another groundout to end the inning, and the Blues were deflated.

“That first inning really killed us,” Vicksburg coach Scott Gordon said. “When we do get down it’s hard for us to come back, especially against a team this good.”

Carrollton scored single runs in each of the next two innings to open a 5-0 lead, and Turkish kept the Blues in check by keeping them out of the air.

The left-hander walked four, but didn’t allow a hit after Robinson’s double. When the Blues did get a runner on, Turkish’s pickoff move had them scrambling to get back to first. Turkish also helped himself at the plate by going 2-for-3 with an RBI single.

“He had an excellent step toward first,” Gordon said. “He caught us a couple of times.”

Vicksburg got one run back in the third inning when Robinson walked, stole second and third, and eventually scored on a wild pitch to cut it to 5-1. But Carrollton answered with three runs in the top of the fourth inning to put the game away.

“That was a good team, and we had good competition against them,” Vicksburg outfielder Channing Gordon said.

The Blues, who only played two games together before the Governor’s Cup, finished second. They said they were looking forward to a rematch with Carrollton which has been together since March and played nearly 60 games at next year’s tournament.

“We played this team (Saturday) and hung with them,” Vicksburg’s Cody Barfield said. “We’ll get them next year.”

Blues 15, Madison 4

The Blues advanced to the championship game with a rout of the Madison Heat.

Heath Carroll led Vicksburg’s 12-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with five RBIs, while Robinson went 3-for-4 with a home run, and also scored three runs. Barfield and Jonathan Longmire each added an RBI double, Chris Whittington and Jeremy Jackson had RBI singles, and Andrew Brown and Matt Cranfield each had an RBI groundout.

Madison whittled an early 5-0 deficit to 5-4 with four unearned runs, but the Blues stormed back with three runs in the fourth and seven in the fifth to seal the win.