Smith, Sewell square off in Dixie Majors duel

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2005

Pine Belt Wireless (3-0) and Industrial Value (2-0) locked horns in a battle between two of the unbeaten teams in the Dixie Majors on June 2. The game lived up to its billing as Piine Belt walked away with a 4-0 record after a narrow 3-0 win. Not only were the teams unbeaten, but the game also brought a high school rivalry back to the diamond.

Chris Sewell, who wore the black and gold for Meadowview carried the pitching responsibilities for the Pine Belt squad, while his counterpart Jeremy Smith spent his spring season in the red and gold of Morgan Academy, but on this night wore the bright green of Industrial Value.

Dallas County grad Roman Paxton led things off for the Pine Belt squad and laced a line drive into the gap between third and shortstop. Sewell ropes a line shot into the outfield, sending Paxton to third. With the first two batters finding their way to the basepaths, Meadowview’s Dustin Lee hit a sacrifice fly to right field for the first out of the inning. The hit was deep enough to score Paxton from third and give the Pine Belt squad an early 1-0 lead. Ricky McConico makes his way to first courtesy of a bloop single just out of the reach of the infield. Dallas County’s McConico proved to be no threat on base though, quickly getting picked off by Smith, to give Pine Belt their second out of the inning. Sewell made his way from third to home following a passed ball during Randall Greene’s at bat, pushing the score to 2-0.

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Smith closed the scoring and the top half of the inning by striking out Richard Lang.

In the bottom half of the frame, Clint Maroney reached on an error, but with back to back ground outs, got no further than second base.

After the first inning of blue-collar baseball by the Pine Belt Squad, Smith settled down and turned the game into a pitcher’s duel over the course of the next six innings.

Pine Belt was able to tack on a third run in the top of the seventh. Josh Clark from Selma High reached base on a error, hitting the third baseman. Clark continued to run after the throw to first from third was errant and then en route to third base, the throw from first base was errant allowing Clark to score and giving Pine Belt a 3-0 lead.

Despite the lack of offense by the Industrial squad, Smith did keep the opposing batters on their toes, recording eight strikeouts in the process.

For Pine Belt, Sewell notched the win with five strikeouts, no hits, three walks and three errors.

The second game, which was more an exhibition game and didn’t count towards either team’s record was vastly different.

Industrial Value squeaked out a 10-0 victory, with the game ending in the fifth inning due to the league’s mercy rule.