Enterprise stops Opp

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2003

A three-run home run and errors proved costly for the Opp Dixie Pre-Majors at the state tournament in Enterprise on Monday.

Opp went on top 3-0 in the top of the first inning, but Enterprise rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the inning to knot the score at 3-3.

The score remained 3-3 until the top of the fourth when Opp pushed three more runs across for a 6-3 edge. A base-running error cost Opp the possibility of a fourth run. In the bottom of the fourth, Enterprise once again had an answer.

Michael Matherly hit a three-run home run to knot to score at 6-6. Then, Bobby Sitze reached on a walk, stole second and moved to third when the ball came loose when an Opp player attempted to tag him out.

He scored on a routine, two-out ground ball that went between the legs of an Opp player to give Enterprise a 7-6 lead.

Enterprise tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Robert Brock reached on a walk and scored on a double steal later in the inning.

Trey Dunbar scored for Opp in the top of the sixth inning after reaching on an infield single when Holt Parker drew a bases-loaded walk against relief pitcher Alan Harvin.

Harvin, however, settled down and got a ground out to end the top of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Opp still trailed by just one run. Harvin struck out two Opp batters in the top of the seventh and then got a ground out to first baseman Andy Hempe to end the game.

Opp's runs in the top of the first came when Michael Hataway reached on a one-out triple and scored on Brock Kelley's RBI-double. Kelley scored later in the inning on Parker's RBI-single. Parker scored later in the inning on an errant throw by the Enterprise catcher.

In the top of the fourth inning, Opp got three more runs. Josh Baker drew a walk and came around to score in the inning. Trey Dunbar was hit by a pitch and scored later in the inning. Daniel Coleman also scored in the inning for Opp after reaching on a bunt when the pitcher failed to field the ball cleanly. Kelley drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Baker. Dunbar and Coleman scored on a two-RBI single by Andrew "Big Show" Showalter.

Opp won its opening game of the tournament with a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 5-2 victory against Huntsville.

Huntsville had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth, finally getting to Opp starter Holt Parker. Ben Graham's RBI-single tied the game and he later scored on a double steal to put his team up 2-1.

That seemed enough for Huntsville starter Andrew Townsley, who, heading into the sixth, had allowed just one run on four hits. But Opp got to him with one out, chasing him after a walk to Parker and a Lee Martinez single.

Huntsville reliever Michael Dinges fared no better, walking two straight to force in a run and tie the game. Coleman then reached when Martinez beat a throw home from third, followed by a two-run single to left by Hataway to make it 5-2.

Huntsville finally got out of the jam when Sam Trupiano coaxed an inning-ending double play.

Parker then sat the Huntsville side down in order in the seventh to close out his third complete-game performance in all-star tournament play this summer. He finished his 112-pitch performance scattering four hits, walking three, hitting two and striking out eight. He also stranded five baserunners and got help from catcher Brock Kelley, who threw out a pair of baserunners.

Hataway finished as Opp's leading hitter in the game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Opp lost to South Mobile in its next game to set up a date with Enterprise in an elimination game.

- Steve Butterworth, sports editor of The Enterprise Ledger, contributed to this report.