BULLDOGS GARNER THIRD PLACE FINISH IN 14-U DIZZY DEAN WORLD SERIES

            The Trion Recreation 14 and under Bulldogs traveled to Southhaven, Mississippi July 15 and came away with a third place finish in the Dizzy Dean World Series. The 2016 Georgia State Champions fell into the losers’ bracket early and battled back to have a shot at the finals, only to come up one run short.

            After an opening ceremony on Friday that included pin-trading and a team introduction at the big amphitheater at Snowden Grove Park, the Bulldogs were ready to take the field Saturday. Eupora, Ms. was the opponent, a runner-up in the Mississippi state playoffs. Can you be flat in the World Series? Or maybe it was nerves but the Dogs were definitely not the team that won the Ga. State Championship. Five key errors and timely hitting by the Eupora team spelled doom to the Dogs in the 8-3 loss and dumped Trion into the losers’ bracket.

            Trion struck out an uncommon 11 times and made several base running mistakes to aid Eupora. All around it was a game to forget for Trion. Caleb Veitch was the only Bulldog with two hits. Vietch had two rbi and Brier Ingle added another.

            Sunday was a new day for the Dogs and this time the Georgia State Champs showed up. Marbury, Ms. was the opponent. They lost to the Florida state champion Meridian Park and had the misfortune to play an angry Bulldog team.

            From the opening inning Trion proved that they were ready to play. Scoring 5 runs in the first frame relaxed the Dogs and paved the way to a 10-0 win. Several Bulldog hurlers limited Marbury to just two hits and the defense was stellar with no errors.

            Will Wyatt was three for three to lead the team. Andy Allen had two hits and Lincoln Maddux had two rbi. This win kept the Dogs alive and well in the tourney.

            It is rare that a team gets a chance to avenge a loss in a tournament but the Dogs got that opportunity Monday afternoon. Eupora was defeated by Meridian Park on Sunday and now faced a now familiar opponent in Trion. Except, the Trion team that they saw was vastly different than the team they played earlier.

            Starting the same pitcher that throttled the Dogs on Saturday, Trion let him know early that things were going to be different this game. With Colt Trammell getting on base 6 times with 3 hits, 3 walks and 6 runs scored, the Bulldogs cruised to an easy 17-5 revenge victory.

            Besides Trammell’s heroics, Veitch scored 4 times, Allen, Jacob Cornette and Hagen Willingham each had three hits. Even though it is said that revenge is best served cold, it tasted mighty good in the 100 degree plus heat of Mississippi.

            Tuesday morning the Bulldogs were back at it with a 9 am game against Meridian Park, Fla. The Florida state champs were upset by Tallapoosa when the Rebels scored 4 late runs, including a bases loaded walk in the 7th for the 4-3 win.

            Coaches Tracy Trammell, Mick Allen and Ryan Willingham knew that it was imperative that the Bulldogs be at their best to win this game. Andy Allen, Trion’s ace pitcher, got the call. The coaching staff knew that using Allen the entire game would “burn” the hurler the rest of the tourney but it was now “win or go home”.

            The move proved to be brilliant with Allen pitching the entire game with 9 strikeouts and scattering 5 hits. Meridian was held hitless until the fourth inning in the Bulldog 9-4 win.

            While Allen held the opponent down, the Bulldog bats came through with 11 hits. Trammell was 3 for 4 to lead the team. Willingham, Wyatt and Cornette each produced 2 hits. Veitch had a long three run homer.

            There was little time to enjoy this victory as the Dogs moved to another field to take on the winner of Rossville and Tallapoosa. The Rebels made short work of our neighbors to the north with a 12-4 win, setting up another showdown between heated rivals.

            The Trion-Tallapoosa rivalry goes back to when most of these kids played in GRPA as 7&8 year olds. The heated competition climaxed in this years’ Ga. Dizzy Dean State Tournament when Trion beat the Rebels 1-0 and 10-9 to win the State. The last game was particularly painful for the Rebels as Trion came back from a 6-0 deficit to win the championship game on a wild throw at third base.

            Trion took a 1-0 lead in the first when Trammell scored on a Veitch hit but the lead was short lived as Tallapoosa struck for 5 runs in the top of the second. Four hits by the Rebels and two key errors helped Tallapoosa expand the lead. The Rebels added another tally in the third and suddenly the Dogs were behind 6-1 going into the bottom of the third.

            This team refused to surrender and answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Trammell reached on a walk and trotted home on another long homerun by Veitch. This cut the lead to 6-3 and the Bulldogs seemed to have recaptured the momentum.

            But here came the Rebels with two runs in the 5th and one in the 6th to take a 9-3 lead with just two Bulldog at bats to go. Trion knew that it was time to go to work.

            Veitch walked and Willingham singled to get the bottom of the 6th going. Tallapoosa changed pitchers and after two quick outs, Wyatt promptly singled and plated two Trion runs, and he later scored on a Rebel error with the third run of the inning.  Tallapoosa was able to wiggle out of the jam with the bases loaded. Still, the Dogs were within striking distance at 9-6.

            The Rebels failed to score in the top of the seventh and it was Trion’s opportunity to break Tallapoosa’s heart once again. Veitch walked to lead-off and with one out Pitts reached on a Rebel error. You could see the jitters as the Tallapoosa team began think “not again”. A basehit by Ingle scored Veitch and Wyatt followed with another hit that scored Pitts and now it was a 9-8 game with runners on first and third with one out. But the Bulldog magic ended there as a strikeout and groundout ended the World Series for Trion.

            Trion finished a remarkable season that saw the team win the State Championship and have a great showing in the Dizzy Dean World Series. Montevello, Alabama beat Tallapoosa 6-5 to win the championship. Veitch, Trammell and Allen were named to the All-Tournament Team. The team brought back individual medals, a team trophy and memories that will last for a lifetime.




re.