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ATMS battles back to advance

Stephanie King

After a rain delay on Thursday, a lightning delay and power outage on Friday the final participant for the middle school baseball tournament championship game emerged late Friday night. Top seeded ATMS faced off against fourth seeded RMS in the second semifinal.

RMS opened the game with back to back singles from Bryson Sweatt and Hunter Atkins. Jozey Akines singled, but Atkins was thrown out at second for out number two. Alberto Lugo struck out for out number two, while Ryan White was thrown out at first for the final out of the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Rylan Smith led things off with a double to the left field fence for the Bulldogs. Rob Hales had his hit caught for out number one but managed to move Smith to third. Ben Walker sent one into the outfield where it was caught for out number two. Smith would make his way home on the hit to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead. Landon Mosely would be thrown out at first for out number three. After one complete inning, ATMS led 1-0.

ATMS picked up the first out of the second inning right away with a strikeout. Chesney Welch singled to center and was followed by Caleb Stickle who was hit by a pitch for the automatic walk. JC Cruz picked up a hit and beat the throw to first as the ball was overthrown. Welch would score on the overthrow to tie the game at 1-1. Little wound up scoring moments later on a wild pitch to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Sweatt would strikeout for out number two. Cruz would score on a ball to extend the Tigers lead. Atkins drew a walk, while Akines picked up another single. Lugo would bring in Atkins to push the lead to 4-1 just before the Bulldogs got the final out of the inning with a strikeout. RMS would make quick work of the Bulldogs in the bottom of the second as they forced them to go three up, three down. The Tigers led 4-1 after two innings.

Vince Sizemore opened the top of the third with a single to center. Welch followed with a single, but the Bulldogs managed to turn a double play. Sizemore was thrown out at second while Welch was picked off at first. With two outs on the board, Stickle earned a stand up double and after an over thrown ball he managed to make his way to third. He would score on a base hit from Cruz to push the Tigers lead to 5-1. A double from Sweatt would put runners on second and third, but both would be left stranded as ATMS got the final out of the inning. RMS got two quick outs to start the bottom of the inning before giving up another double to Smith. Smith would be left stranded as the Tigers got the final out of the inning. After three complete, RMS led 5-1.

It would be a quick top of the fourth as the ATMS Bulldogs forced the Tigers to go three up, three down. ATMS put a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the inning but could not bring them in as RMS continued to lead 5-1.

The Bulldogs would not let the Tigers get anything going in the top of the fifth as they left one runner stranded on base. ATMS would have their best inning of the night in the bottom of the fifth as they brought four runs across the plate to tie this one up. RMS got a quick out to start the inning before allowing the Bulldogs to load the bases moments later. Walker would load the bases after out number two. Mosley took a pitch to the back for the automatic walk that scored an automatic run for the Bulldogs. A single from Reigo Rodriguez would bring in both Smith and Walker to cut the lead to 5-4. Little picked up a hit to score Mosely to tie the game before Rodriguez was thrown out at first for out number three. After five innings this one was tied at 5 all.

ATMS opened the top of the sixth with a strikeout before giving up a single to Atkins. After out number two, Lugo picked up a single to score Atkins and give the Tigers a 6-5 lead before being thrown out at second for out number three. Travis Hurt and Cameron Hinson would pick up back to back singles to start the bottom of the inning but Hurt would be thrown out at second on Hinson’ hit. Mason Rich picked up a single to put runners on first and second as Smith stepped to the plate. Smith would pick up another double to score both Hinson and Rich. RMS got out number two before allowing Walker to pick up a single that scored Smith. Mosely drew a walk, but the Tigers were able to throw Walker out at third for the final out of the inning. After six innings, ATMS led 8-6.

The Bulldogs would secure their win by forced the Tigers into a one, two, three inning in the top of the seventh. ATMS would get the win 8-6 and set up a meeting with the SWRMS Cougars in the championship game on Monday.

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