Pirates, Giants Claim Dixie Youth Baseball Championship Titles
By Lonnie Turner
The final week of the 2012 Kiwanis Dixie Youth baseball season has come and gone and two champions have been crowned. The Physicians Healthcare Pirates won the Minor League Championship with a 15-1 record and the Dillon Family Dental Giants are the Champs in the Majors, winning 13 of 16 games.
The championship in the Majors was decided on Monday when the Yankees won their first game of the season, beating the Dillon Internal Medicine Hurricanes, 10-3, while the Giants beat the Cotton’s Grocery Reds 3-1 behind the one-hit pitching of Ray-Ray McGirt.
Following the final Minor League game on Tuesday, Jason Blum, with his parents Dr. and Mrs. Walter Blum by his side, presented the award named in his honor, “The Jason Blum Never Say Quit Award” to Dawson Perritt of the True Value Tigers. He also presented the award to Caleb Lane of the Rangers prior to the Giants-Reds game on Friday. Jason, who is confined to a motorized wheelchair due to the crippling effect of Muscular Dystrophy, has always been known as a young man who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit” and was all smiles when he wheeled himself to home plate to make the presentations on Ray Wilson Field at the Kiwanis Michael Lecholop Park.
The recipients, who were not necessarily the leaders in batting, fielding, or pitching in their respective leagues, were selected by the coaches in each league as the players who best displayed the characteristics of Jason, including doing whatever their coaches asked them to do with no complaints.
In the first Yankee win of the season, Jackson Wolfe went 3-for-4 including two triples and three runs batted in to lead the Yankees at the plate while Ian Paterson threw a 3-hitter in a 10-3 decision. Wolfe’s triple in the first inning drove in Cole Carroll and Patterson followed with a single to score Wolfe to take an early 2-0 lead.
Jackson Hayes and David Chesnut started the bottom of the second with singles for the Hurricanes and scored on a fielding error to tie the game, but the same three batters who scored the two runs in the first for the Yankees, did the same in the top of the third. Carroll walked and scored on Wolfe’s single and Patterson followed with a sacrifice fly ball to center field to send Wolfe home.
Ryan Stephens singled home two more runs in the fourth inning for the Yankees after the hurricanes pulled to within one run of tying when Dawson Dove’s sacrifice fly in the top of the third scored Rakeem Fletcher, who had led off the inning with a walk.
The Yankees blew the game open sending 10 batters to the plate in a 4-run fifth inning. Garrett Collins tripled to start the inning and eventually scored the first run on a wild pitch. Nichols Evans and Connor Hyatt also had singles for the winners and Davis Cook added a single in a losing cause.
Ray-Ray McGirt led the Giants to a 3-1 win over the second place Cotton’s Grocery Reds to put the finishing touch on the Championship run. The hard hitting lefty tripled to start the first inning and scored when Rameer Sowells reached base on an error. Sowells gave the Giants a 2-0 lead when he scored on a wild pitch.
In the third, McGirt blasted a 3-0 pitch out of the park for his second homer of the season. He had hit an inside the park round tripper earlier in the season. He also pitched a one-hitter while striking out 15 batters and walking three in a complete game on the mound on the way to his 7th win of the season against no defeats. He finished the season with a league-high 136 strike outs in 50 innings. Jon-Mitchell Carter spoiled his no-hitter with an infield hit in the sixth inning and after walking Michael Minges in the fourth, a wild pitch with Minges on third broke up his shutout. Sowells and Josh Hunt hit safely in the game for the Giants.
The All Star selections for the Minor League included: Noah Carter, Jared Darmon, Jared Ivey and Trent McNeill from the Champion Physicians Healthcare Pirates; Knox Jackson, Collin Hamilton, Tristian Brigman and Trent Johnson of the McLeod Health Marlins; Cooper Lane and Barnes Causey of the Burger King Braves; Chase Dudney of the True Value Tigers; and Nichols (Nick) Evans of the Pepsi-Cola Blue Jays. The team will be managed by Jamie Hamilton and assisted by John-John Brigman and Matt Darmon.
For the Majors, the All Stars include: from the Dillon Internal Medicine Hurricanes, Jackson Hayes, Dawson Dove, Rakeem (Rah-Rah) Fletcher and Davis Cook; from the Cotton’s Grocery Reds, Jon-Mitchell Carter, Michael Minges and Noah Henderson; from the Champion Dillon Family Dental Giants, Billy (Ray-Ray) McGirt and Rameer Sowells; from the Justice Rangers, Ereck Eck and Nash Miller; and from the Bonnie Bailey Yankees, Ian Patterson. The coaching staff includes Ronnie Bracey, Jimmy Bohachic and Brantley Patterson.
The Minor League will start post season play on June 29 in Mullins and the Majors won’t start before July 6.