Final four set for SE Region

Monday, July 27, 2009
Monrovia's Garrett Bodine led his Alabama squad into the semifinals versus the Jacksonville Beach Blue Claws with a two-hit shut-out over Mara N.C. in one of the four quarterfinals yesterday in the Cal Ripken SE 9U Region at the Richard Cashion Youth League Park in Lewisburg.

After three days of pool play, beginning last Thursday and four quarterfinal games on Sunday, the final four teams are in place for today's championship bracket games for the boys 9U Cal Ripken SE Region Tournament at the Richard Cashion Youth League Park in Lewisburg.

It will be an Alabama versus Florida match-up in both games.

The high flying Jacksonville Beach Blue Claws (5-0) take on Huntsville's Monrovia (4-1) squad in the National Division semifinal while Tillman's Corner (5-0) from Mobile, Ala. takes the diamond versus West Palm Beach's Jupiter (5-0) in the American Division semifinal.

Both semifinal games begin at 1pm, followed by the SE Region championship tilt at 4pm.

The Blue Claws punched their ticket to today's semifinal with a 21-4 pasting over Oviedo Fla., in one of the two noon quarterfinal match-ups Sunday. The Jacksonville squad sent 17 batters to the plate in the fist inning versus Oviedo, scoring 13 times to put the game away early in the four inning run rule win.

Blue Claw slugger Brycen Padgett had four RBI's in the ballgame, including a two-run homerun in the second inning for his fourth big knock of the tournament.

Padgett, Austin Knight, and Alex Parcell all had three hits and Tyler Callihan and J.P. Galen each had two hits in the 17 hit bombardment for the Blue Claws.

Easton Flowers was in full blossom on the hill for the Blue Claws, picking up the win in just two innings of work.

In the other mid-day semifinal, Tillman's Corner (5-0) remained undefeated for the tournament, garnering a 7-4 win over Atlanta's Buckhead Braves.

The Ala. squad jumped out to an early 2-0 first inning lead for the coast-to-coast win over Buckhead. Louis Morgan picked up the win on the mound for Tillman's Corner while Dalton Rone scored two runs and Samuel Lodner went 3-4 at the dish.

In the afternoon quarterfinals, Jupiter Fla. (5-0) eliminated West Raleigh N.C. with a 9-3 victory. Jupiter's Brett Steel broke open a close 2-1 ballgame with a two-run homerun in a five-run fourth inning, leading the Florida squad into the semifinals versus Tillman's Corner.

In the other late game, Monrovia Alabama's Garrett Bodine turned in a two-hit gem on the hill en-route to the 4-0 victory.

Monrovia scored two runs in the first inning and then Bodine did the rest, leading the Huntsville squad into the semifinals versus the Blue Claws.

The host Marshall County squad went 0-4 in the tournament and was outscored 57-14.

Marshall County manager Brian Eady said after his team's elimination, "It was great playing all these teams. We have not seen this kind of competition all year. Our players had fun and had a great experience. We just did not hit like we did at district or state and there was a lot better pitching here than we have seen. We have had a wonderful time hosting the tournament and I would like to thank all of my coaches and the parents who have worked so hard. They have all been wonderful throughout."