Pre-Majors blast Thomasville

Published 10:07 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

James Roberts had one big question about his Selma Pre-Majors All-Stars going into Friday’s South State tournament game against host Thomasville.

That question was answered quickly. In six innings, Selma stopped Thomasville’s home debut with a 14-4 victory when the game was stopped after the 10-run mercy rule.

“We hit the ball pretty good,” Roberts said. “I was pleasantly surprised.”

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Selma compiled eight hits and — combined with Thomasville’s eight errors — put the game out of reach after two innings. A six-run explosion in the second inning did the trick.

“I thought we played good except for one inning, when they scored their runs,” said Roberts, referring to Thomasville three runs in the fifth inning. Selma had three consecutive errors to account for the runs.

Centerfielder Daniel Blackmon set the pace with three singles for three RBIs. Winning pitcher Connor Thorpe also had three RBIs on two singles.

Thorpe said he and his teammates were ready to play. They advanced to the South State tournament as the lone District 4 team.

“We’ve got a really jazzed-up team,” said Thorpe, whose pitching stats were not overpowering. “It was hot, but I felt good. The fielding had a lot to do with the win.”

Although he had four strikeouts with his five bases-on-balls, Thorpe threw “ground ball” pitches. Only two outs were recorded as fly balls — one to Thorpe in the first inning and another to Blackmon in the third inning.

Roberts said he had considered lifting Thorpe in the third inning when his pitch count went to 40.

“Pitchers can only have 105 pitches in two days,” Roberts said. “Conner had 40 pitches after three innings, and I was worried that he was throwing too many pitches. At 45 pitches, it would have counted as a game.”

After six innings, Thorpe had 96 pitches and would have been lifted if a seventh inning had been necessary.

Selma’s long day on the field is today when the All-Stars play two games. First at 1 p.m., Selma takes on Auburn, then Selma plays Grove Hill at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Selma plays Eufala at 2 p.m.