7th-inning single sends Clanton to state

Published 9:38 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Keaton Sullivan singled home Dustin Cleckler on Tuesday to give the Clanton AAA (9- and 10-year-old) all-stars a 5-4 win over Monroe and the District 4 championship.

Clanton will travel to Muscle Shoals on July 24 for the state tournament.

Tuesday’s game at Billingsley’s Blake Donaldson Field wasn’t dramatic until the sixth inning, the last of regulation. Clanton built a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth behind solid defense, impressive outings from starting pitcher John Pitts and reliever Giquon Lane, and two runs scored by Tolliver Gilliland.

But Monroe capitalized on a Clanton error in the top of the fifth to score a run, and a two-out, three-hit rally in the sixth tied the game at four.

Cleckler led off the Clanton seventh inning with a double off the center field fence. One out later, Gunnar Ellis hit a single up the middle to move Cleckler to third base. Then, Sullivan came up with the game-winning hit.