June 28, 2009
CALEDONIA -- Two of the seven pools of the Dizzy Dean High School World Series were decided in back-to-back games at Caledonia High School on Saturday afternoon.
After Center Hill defeated Caledonia 10-0 to win Pool E, Gulfport won Pool G by knocking off the Confederates 7-1.
It has been a successful return to the area so far for Gulfport coach Tim Dowdy, a former assistant baseball coach at New Hope.
After losing 12-0 to New Hope on Friday, Gulfport came back to beat Center Hill 5-3 and Caledonia on Saturday.
"This is an opportunity and a great tournament for us," Dowdy said. "The kids bounced back (Saturday) and beat a good Center Hill team and a scrappy Caledonia team. We were able to piece together enough pitching to make us figure out who is going to throw (today)."
Cameron Reynolds started and pitched two innings against the Confederates, while Ryland Alewin, Jovan Thigpen and Matt Johnson also pitched for Gulfport. They only allowed three hits to Caledonia with one single each by Trey Lancaster, Matthew Gresham and Curry Freeman.
Gulfport leadoff hitter C.J. Felix had four hits by himself, all of the infield variety, as he showed off his speed to first base.
"Speed is a weapon that you always like to have as a coach," Dowdy said. "We have some other guys who can run who not here with us that are playing at the State Games."
Gulfport scored a pair of runs in the first inning, then added one in the third, two more in the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh.
"Gulfport came out and did a good job and swung the bat, but we still have a young team and still have a lot of maturing left to do," Caledonia coach Mitch Smith said. "We have an eighth grader playing shortstop (Caleb Brown) and he showed a lot of potential. If he keeps working at it, he will be a great ballplayer. Give it to Gulfport, they came out and did a good job."
The Confederates scored its one run in the fifth on an RBI single by Lancaster.
n Center Hill 10, Caledonia 0: Center Hill took advantage of eight Caledonia errors and put together an 11-hit attack on top of it to win in five innings.
"It feels good (to be moving on)," Center Hill coach Chris Langley said. "Our pitching has been outstanding. We played four games and used four pitchers. The kids we threw (Holden Pearson) is going to be a sophomore next year. He was an error away from a perfect game."
Holden had a five-inning no-hitter and the only base runner he allowed was when Freeman reached on an error in the fifth inning.
Smith said the Confederates must concentrate on the hitting part of the game heading into next season.
"We''re lacking in our hitting and need to come back ready to hit next season," Smith said. "We''re a young team and have something to build from."
The highlight of the World Series for Caledonia was when Freeman pitched a complete-game two-hitter in a 3-2 victory against Pickens Academy on Friday.