COLBERT – A slate of four games jump-started the fifth annual Colbert Summer Invitational baseball tournament on Wednesday. Three games ended in lopsided run-rules, but one game stood out as possibly the most bizarre of the 2012 season.
The relaxed atmosphere of the off-season tournament was put aside during a 3.5-hour, extra inning battle between Calera and Madill. The Wildcats pulled off an improbable 21-20 walk-off win in nine innings – after the Bulldogs put up six runs in the seventh to take a 20-9 lead.
Madill took an early lead in the game until Calera scored seven runs in the fifth to take a 12-6 lead. Conner Hamilton had a pair of two-RBI doubles, including a sixth inning blast off the left field wall which gave the Bulldogs a 14-6 run-rule in the making.
The Wildcats scored three in the sixth to stay alive, forcing a seventh inning. Hamilton, Dakota Hodge and Riley Barton all had RBI hits in a six-run seventh to give Calera an impressive 20-9 lead.
A seven-run Madill rally knocked starter Alex Carr off the mound, just one out shy of a complete game. Hamilton’s relief work was worse, as two walks, a passed ball and a double steal got Madill within a point and the bases still full – all with two outs.
Lucas Wright, the third Calera pitcher of the inning, issued a four-pitch walk which allowed Madill to tie the game at 20-20. With a 3-1 count and just one pitch from a walk-off win, a Wildcat hitter lined one to Alex Carr at second to force extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth, Michael Trammel and Dakota Hodge both drew walks before Jesse Collett’s fly ball to shallow left was dropped by the Madill fielder. Trammel and Hodge didn’t run, allowing the Wildcats to execute a double play.
Hamilton reached base on balls and Barton was hit by a pitch to load the bases with Bulldogs. Lucas Wright hit one back to the pitcher for an easy out to strand all three Calera runners. A walk and a series of throwing errors allowed Madill to walk off with a 21-20 win in the proverbial bottom of the ninth.
Colbert Coach Lance Britt was pleased to have a ten-team field for the fifth summer classic. This year marks Boswell’s first appearance at the tourney, and state champion Rattan is back to defend their 2010 and 2011 tourney crowns.
“We enjoy having it,” Britt said. “It’s a chance to get a lot of good baseball teams down here. There are not a lot of opportunities for high school tournaments in the summer. It’s fun, but everybody wants to win.”
In other baseball action at Colbert, Boswell defeated Rock Creek 11-0 in the Scorpions’ tourney debut, then fell to Rattan 15-6. Boswell Coach Allen Cartwright said Lane Smith pitched well in the win over Rock Creek, as Trevor Phillips and Stacy Brown collected many of the RBIs in both games.
Boswell took a 6-2 lead over rattan in the second on a parade of hits from Brown, Lane Moffett, Cameron Roberts and Logan Dill. But a nine-run outburst from the Rams in the third inning knocked out Preston Egan from game two.
In the nightcap, host Colbert took an 11-3 win over an exhausted Madill team. Preston Rice and Kason Krob combined their pitching efforts in the win. Rice also had 3 RBIs on two hits in the game.
Dylan Jones hit a double and triple, Cade Carter had two hits and an RBI, Bradley Nichols had a double, Dakota Graham singled, Keller Cummins is credited with a double, and pinch runners Ethan Williams and Zach Lovelace both scored.
Thursday’s games will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will include action from Coleman vs. Roff, Tushka vs. Tupelo, as well as matchups involving Rattan, Rock Creek, Colbert and Calera.