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Starkville drops tough decision

July 8, 2012

Parker Nodine takes a swing at the baseball for Starkville Saturday night. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

It was a game with several ups and downs and in the end, the Starkville 10-year old All-Stars found itself in a weird predicament.

Holding a 14-11 lead entering the seventh inning, a substitution error was called to the attention of the umpire.

Starkville head coach Randy Carlisle had pinch-hit for starter Jalen Bell with Jontavious Spearman. Spearman reached on a double in the top of the sixth. Payton Gregg pinch ran for Spearman.

Carlisle put Bell back in defensively in the bottom of the seventh. That substitution was ruled illegal and forced Starkville to get six outs in the inning.

After recording the first three outs and the inning starting over, Louisville scored four runs to win 15-14 in seven innings.

A 20-minute discussion took place on the field before the third out of the original inning was recorded and tournament officials were called upon to interpret the rule.

Starkville now plays the winner of West Point and Caledonia at 4 p.m. today in a loser's bracket game.

Starkville took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning highlighted by Garrett Lewis' RBI single.

Starkville added one more in the second, and Louisville answered with one of its own in the home half of the inning.

Starkville put some distance between itself and Louisville with a three-spot in the third making it 7-1.

Izak Hansen had a sacrifice fly in the inning.

Louisville added three runs in the fourth inning and busted out for seven in the fifth inning. Eric Gregory's two-run triple was the big blow. Louisville held an 11-7 lead heading the last inning.

Starkville did not bow out so easy. With two runners on, Lewis hit an RBI double to left field. Justin Rook followed him with a sacrifice fly and Tanner Graves had his own sacrifice fly to make it 11-10.

An infield single by Braden Carlisle gave Starkville hope with two outs. Spearman delivered a run scoring double to tie it up. That was all the home team could get in the frame.

A 5-unassisted-3 double play after an intentional walk sent the game to extra innings.

Braden Carlisle delivered with another infield single driving in two runs after an errant throw following him reaching first to make it 14-11 heading to the bottom of the seventh.

Louisville, which capitalized on the six outs and won the ballgame, is now in the driver's seat playing Columbus Nationals today at 1 p.m.

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