Arkansas eliminates Opelika
August 11, 2005
Tom Peavy / Staff Writer
A five-run Arkansas (Texarkana West) first inning proved to be more than Opelika could overcome Friday in the losers’ bracket of the Dixie Majors (11-12-year-olds) tournament at the Dixie Youth World Series.
Arkansas walked away with a 7-4 win, ending Opelika’s season just two games into the World Series.
“I know we can play better than that,” Opelika coach Joel Lawrence said. “We went unblemished until state, but I guess every good thing has to come to an end.”
Arkansas’ bats exploded from the start as Greg Milhorn led off the bottom of the first with a single.
With one out, Preston Ellis was hit by a pitch, and one batter later, Brett Rhinehart doubled Milhorn home. Blake Resecker then loaded the bases with a bunt single.
Opelika forced Ellis out at the plate on a grounder by J.R. Lacy for the second out of the inning, but a wild pitch scored another Arkansas run to keep the burst alive.
A walk to Weston Minter again loaded the bases, and a second walk to Jeremy Lockett made the score 3-0 and spelled the end of the day for Opelika starter Britt Thomas.
But reliever Taylor Daniel did not fare better as the first batter he faced, Patrick Reynolds, blooped a single to right field to score two runs.
Opelika scored a run in the second, but Arkansas added two more runs in the third to take a commanding 7-1 lead.
Caleb Lawrence gave Opelika a run boost with a massive solo homer to left field in the fourth, but it was the only run to come across in the inning.
Opelika added two runs in the sixth on a bases-loaded, one-out double by Lawrence.
But Blake Smith’s apparent single to right field hit Lawrence for the second out, and Arkansas’ Preston Ellis struck out Judson Scott swinging for the final out.
“We really appreciate the way the Opelika people supported us on this long run,” Joel Lawrence said. “We also want to thank Auburn for being so hospitable and we wish both Auburn teams the best of luck.
“These 13 boys (Opelika) are also to be thanked. They gave us two months of one more day in the sun, and gave Opelika and Lee County a team to be proud of.”
Lawrence and Smith led Opelika at the plate, each going 2-for-3. Lawrence finished with three RBI.
Reseker led Arkansas with a 2-for-2 outing at the plate, and Milhorn picked up the win on the mound.