3 local teams make World Series

Published 7:10 pm Friday, July 23, 2010

Three Chilton County youth baseball teams will compete in their respective World Series tournaments this weekend and next weekend.

Clanton’s O-Zone (11- and 12-year-olds) team earned a berth in Dixie Youth World Series next weekend—the first Clanton team to do so in the O-Zone format. Thorsby’s 14-year-old team and Jemison’s 12-year-old team will play in Dizzy Dean World Series beginning Saturday.

While the Jemison team is the first youth squad to represent the city on a national level, according to coach Tommy Lenoir, the Thorsby team has some World Series experience, with most of its players having competed in the World Series in the 11-year-old division.

“I think they’re ready,” coach Kyle McRae said. “Plus, we play a lot of travel ball.”

Thorsby finished second in the state tournament. The Rebels dropped their opening game against Limestone Elite but won five consecutive games before falling to the Limestone Raiders, 13-7, in the championship game.

Thorsby will play Mantachie (Miss.) at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, while Jemison will make its tournament debut against the Georgia state champion Rome Renegades at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Clanton O-Zone needed to defeat Dothan twice to win the state tournament in Eufaula on July 21 but could only pull out one win.

“It has been several years since Clanton sent a team to the World Series, so we are really proud of our boys and their effort,” coach Jeff Price said. “The team goal was to get to the World Series in our boys’ last year in Dixie Youth, and the goal was accomplished. My personal goal with this group was to take 12 individual boys with outstanding baseball skills and try to mold them into outstanding young men.

“In my mind, this tournament was not all about balls and strikes and what your batting average ended up. It was about having one of the best weeks baseball in a long time, as a team.”

Colby Ramsey set a new state record with 13 runs scored in the state tournament. He also hit four home runs.

Corbin Bice recorded the second triple in state tournament history.

Boyd Price made no errors despite playing every inning at second base for seven games.

The team’s pitching was handled by Tolliver Gilliland, Bailey Sellers, Hunter Bennett and Dalton Green.

Making key defensive plays were Koty Watts, Conner McRae, J.W. Pitts, Brady Thornton and Brock Higgins.

Clanton O-Zone will play Paris National (Texas state runners-up) at 3 p.m. on July 31 in Lexington, S.C.