Evans wins AL Tournament

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 2, 2004

They’re going to the ‘ship.

Evans Chiropractic earned the right to play in the 9-10-year-olds Dixie Youth Baseball championship with a convincing 9-1 victory over Pepsi, Thursday at the Sportsplex.

Evans clinched the American League Tournament title with its win and will face the National League Tournament champ to be decided between Selma trophy and King’s Building. Evans will face its unknown opponent Saturday at 9 a.m.

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Evans broke a 1-1 tie with a four-run second inning. It was the third victory in as many meetings for Evans over Pepsi this season in one of the league’s top friendly rivalries.

“This one was more special,” Evans head coach Michael Rowe said, “because it was for the championship.”

With the game knotted at 1, Devonta

Cleveland started Evans’ deciding second inning with a one-out single and moved to third on a double by Erick Blevins. Henry Blevins followed with a grounder to first base, scoring Cleveland. On the play, Erick Blevins continued around third base and beat Pepsi first baseman Cullen Nickles to the plate, making it a 3-1 game.

After Rahim Martin reached on an error, Demond Washington lashed a double to right-centerfield to score Martin. Washington also kept running on the play and scored when the throw to third base was off the mark, increasing the margin to 5-1.

The victory also was keyed by an Evans defense that made one sparkling play after another to keep Pepsi off the scoreboard for the final five innings.

“I was very impressed with our defense,” Rowe said. “We had trouble making the routine plays in the early part of the season. Now we’re making the routine plays and the good plays, too.”

Pepsi batters hit the ball hard on many occasions, but had nothing to show of it as Evans made several running catches and snagged some hard-hit grounders.

Phillip Brock opened the Pepsi fourth inning with a rocket headed into the right-centerfield gap, but the liner was gloved by Vontarious Melton. Cory Hayes followed with a line drive toward left-centerfield, but Henry Blevins corralled the shot.

Cullen Nickles followed with a double down the left field line, but was stranded when Hunter Veach’s sharply-hit grounder was gloved by Cleveland, who threw across to first baseman Michael Moore to end the inning.

Evans padded its lead in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Moore singled and George-Michael Rowe doubled to right-centerfield, sending Moore to third. David Gray followed with a grounder to second base, scoring Moore for a 6-1 Evans lead. Rowe beat the throw to third base and scored when the toss to third got away to make it 7-1. Evans capped its scoring with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Evans took the early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Jarious Moore doubled and scored on a Pepsi throwing error.

Pepsi rallied for the tie in the top of the second. With one out, Veach reached second base on an Evans throwing error and scored on a single by David Colley, who lined a two-strike pitch up the middle for the RBI hit.