Opp 12U All-Stars top Covington County in district championship

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 23, 2015


The Opp 12U Cal Ripken All-Stars are state-bound after defeating the Covington County All-Stars 6-2 in the district championship game Saturday in Opp.




Hal Smithart started the day on the mound for Opp, and quickly struck out the first batter he faced in the top of the first inning. Smithart then gave up a walk to Aden Amis, but escaped the inning after getting the next batter to groundout for a 1-6-3 double play.




In the bottom of the first, Opp’s Tray Boutwell reached on an error with one out. Payton Ellis followed with a single and Jesse Coon drew a walk to load the bases. Smithart then hit a ground ball to third base that allowed Boutwell to score the first run of the game.




Smithart remained strong in the top of the second inning, and retired the County batters in order.




On the mound for the County, Tucker Livings got a pop up and a groundout to start bottom of the second inning, but a two-out rally from Opp put the County in a deep hole.




Thomas Glisson racked a two-out double into the gap in left center, and Brady James kept the inning going by drawing a walk. That is when things began to unravel for the County defense one play produced two throwing errors that allowed Glisson and James to score. A double from Ballard Lane kept the inning going followed by three more errors on the County. The errors allowed Opp to take a 6-0 lead at the end of two innings. There would have been at least one more run scored, but County shortstop Jake Wilson made a diving stop on a ground ball that saved a run.




Smithart continued rolling along, retiring the County batters in order once again in the top of the third inning.




Livings bowed up in the bottom of the third, sitting down Opp in order via two strikeouts and a groundout.




In the top of the fourth, Braxton Lee led off the inning with a bunt single followed by an error on the shortstop off the bat of Wilson. Gabrien Dunn drove in Lee with a fielder’s choice, and Jon Jon Dewrell drove in Amis with a single to make the score 6-2.




Amis took over on the mound in the bottom of the fourth inning for the County, and greeted the first batter he faced with a strikeout. Amis got a groundout and pop out to end the inning.




In the top of the fifth, Mason Turner got the inning starting by ripping a double into the outfield. Judd Fuqua followed with a walk, and Smithart was replaced on the mound by Lane. After Turner stole third, Fuqua was thrown out attempting to steal second. Lane then punched out the next two batters to put an end to the County scoring threat.




Opp threatened in the bottom of the fifth after a single from Smithart and a double from Chandler Pyron, but Amis picked up a big strikeout to end the inning.




Lane dominated on the mound in top of the sixth inning, picking up right where he left off in the fifth by striking out the side to end the game. Lane faced five batters during the game, striking out all five.




Opp and Covington County will both be back in action July 4 for the state tournament at Johnson Park. Covington County will be the host team.