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LC 12U Ozone places runner-up in state

Lincoln County finished second in the 12U Ozone state championship tournament at Lincoln Civic Center Baseball Complex which began Saturday. Their championship fight came to an end after falling to Magee on Tuesday.

Lincoln County won game one on Saturday, beating Columbia 9-5, and won game two beating Hatley 9-5.

They dropped game three to Magee 11-0 on Sunday, but rebounded by winning 8-7 over Columbia, to move onto the 12U Ozone state championship game, facing Magee.

“We had a great season,” coach Tim Cunningham said. “Second place isn’t anything to hang your head about. I can’t say enough about the kids. Most of them have been together since they were 8 years old. We’ve seen them mature and grow to be young men. I pray that they go out into the community and continue to play ball at the county schools and city schools. I challenged them that whenever they become 40, to coach teams. The kids aren’t finished, they got a lot of baseball left in them, and continue to take what they learned out here into life.”

Although Lincoln County managed to get a runner on base to start off the game with a James Terrell single, Magee was able to prevent any runs from crossing the plate in the first.

Lincoln County got a base runner in the second inning, when Caleb Smith singled. Once again, Magee was able to prevent the runner from scoring, getting the next three batters out.

Magee would be the first on the board, scoring two runs in their half of the second inning. With one out, Montavis Hood singled into center field. With two outs, Hines Bemi drew a walk. Magee would score the first two runs of the game on a pitch that made its way past the catcher.

Lincoln would pull within one in the top half of the third. With one out, Xavier Gayten drew a walk. With two outs, Terrell doubled into left field. Lincoln scored on a wild pitch.

Magee would score the game’s last two runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Will Raysaulle led off the inning with a single but was soon thrown out trying to steal second. With out and a runner on base via a walk, Banks Teater drove a single into shallow center, scoring a run. Magee would score the final run of the game on wild pitch.

Leading 4-1 heading into the final frame of the game, Magee secured their win by getting three out of the final four batters out to record a 4-1 victory.

Noah Gatlin pitched the entire game for Lincoln County, striking out 11 while giving up four runs, one earned.

Teater pitched for Magee, striking out four batters. Barrett McKenney pitched in relief striking out five batters.

Terrell had a double and a single for Lincoln County. Smith had a single.

Hood had a single for Magee. Raysaulle and Teater each had a single. Barrett McKenney and Tyler Griffith finished for Magee with a single each.

The Lincoln County 12U Majors All-Stars placed as runner-up in the 12U Youth Majors State Championship Saturday. The team won game one, beating Prentiss 6-0, then fell in game two in a run rule to Walthall American by a score of 13-3.

Caden White won the game on the mound against Prentiss, striking out six, walking none, and giving up only two hits.

Lincoln County took on Columbia-Duckworth Sunday, winning 11-1 and advancing to the championship game. Faced with the tough task of beating Walthall again, Lincoln County ultimately fell 8-2.

Story by Dave Linton