Originally published in the Dublin Courier Herald, Dublin, GA
WARNER ROBINS— Dudley Little League nine and ten-year-old all-stars are now one game away from the state playoffs thanks to an amazing comeback win over Macon’s Vine Ingle team last night.
Carson Estep put Dudley on the board with a lead-off homerun in the first inning, followed by Andrew Weight’s two RBI double to score Brent Carr and AJ Mathis. However, the scrappy Vine Ingle team took control of the game early, scoring two runs in the first, one in the second and four in the third inning against a flat and somewhat sloppy Dudley defense. Fans were, once again, nervous and pacing, wondering if our boys had enough rally strength to close the 7-3 gap.
No one speculated for long, though, because in the bottom of the third inning (what seemed like the longest inning in Dudley baseball history), bats came alive for our boys as they exploded for 15 runs. Brody Slaughter hit a solo homerun to left field, while Paul Kellam, Dalton Daniel, Bradley Wilson and James Shoptaw provided pivotal clutch hits to keep our runners rounding the bases.
“We hit like 18 or 20 kids in that one inning,” boasted an excited Head Coach Greg Slaughter. “If they keep hitting the ball like that, I don’t think anyone in the state can beat us.” Assistant Coach and chief scorebook keeper, Chad Payne pointed out that Dudley’s team batting average was 600 last night. Not bad for a comeback.
Right-handed pitcher, Dalton Daniel came in with a precision, strike-hurling, performance, holding Vine Ingle scoreless to close out the game with a run-rule in the fourth inning. The final score was 18-7.
The Dudley boys will travel to Warner Robins again on Thursday to play their final District Five tourney game.