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North Chilton 9U All-Stars moving on to world series

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

The North Chilton 9 and Under All-Stars baseball team will be moving on to a world series event thanks to their performance in the recent state championship tournament held in Gardendale.

North Chilton 9U took second place in the state tournament, falling only to host Gardendale.

“That Gardendale team was tough,” said head coach Brandon Atcheson. “They had a good team. The first time they played us, they beat us by one run in the seventh inning. That’s extra innings for us; we just play six (innings). It was tied going into the seventh inning. We had chances, but just couldn’t capitalize.”

The team defeated Center Point 8-6 to advance to the state championship game.

“We played Gardendale again Tuesday, and we would have had to beat them twice to win,” Atcheson said. “We gave up three runs in the first inning on a couple of errors (in Game One).”

Still, that second-place performance means a trip to the world series hosted at Snowden Grove Park in Southaven, Mississippi.

“There will be about 20 different 9-year-old teams from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee there,” Atcheson said.

Atcheson said it is an “awesome” feeling knowing his team will compete in the world series event.

“We have had this team together since most of them were 6 years old,” he said. “We have had some good teams and some chances, but it has never worked out. This year, they have really bought in to what we are doing and worked hard.

“This is the first year of kid pitch, and we have got some kids on our team that can really sling it. Pitching has been our strength. Coach Denny does a fantastic job with the pitchers. We are excited about going over there and showing what we can do.”

The North Chilton 9 and Under All-Stars are comprised of seven players from Thorsby, three from Maplesville and one from Jemison. They play in different leagues in Chilton County.

“At the end of the regular season, we each played about 12 games,” Atcheson said. “Then, we had a tournament following the season before starting All Stars. We got in a 10-year-old tournament in Jemison and ended up winning. We played in the regionals in Clanton and won that. We ended up going to Gardendale (for the state championship.) We played in five games in the state championship.”

The opening ceremony at the world series will be on July 13, with actual competition beginning the following day on July 14.

“We could play through Thursday, if we keep winning,” Atcheson said.