Friday, July 18, 2014
For the Parks Field American All-stars the first step toward claiming the 2014 South Carolina Dixie Youth Minors (age 9-10) Championship may be the biggest.
Parks Field opens the state tournament in Florence Saturday with a game against Hartsville Northern, the defending Dixie Youth Minors World Series Champion. Parks Minors All-stars Manager Mike Hayes says he isn’t sure how many players returned from last year’s Hartsville Northern team this summer, but he feels his team is up to the challenge of facing the defending national champs.
“This team is one of the best to ever represent Parks Field in the Minors division and we want to bring a state championship back home,” Hayes said. “We have some good pitching and some good athletes so anything can happen.
“We are just going to take it one game at a time and hopefully play our best.”
Parks needed that pitching to claim the District 7 All-stars Championship in Hanahan. After a rainout Friday, the team met Moncks Corner Saturday in the championship game.
In a defensive battle, Parks scored a run in the fourth and another in the fifth, but Moncks Corner tied the game in the bottom of the frame. Brandon Powell led off the next inning with a bunt single and made his way around the diamond to put Parks up 3-2.
Heston Foster threw four scoreless innings in the championship game and Powell closed the game out. Coda Westbrook made a nice defensive play to secure the final out.
It was the second time the teams met in the double-elimination tournament. The first time, Foster threw a complete game as Parks earned a 5-3 victory.
Parks also defeated Ladson, Pepperhill and Hanahan on its way to claiming the title. Bonneau, Carolina League and Parks Circle also competed in the tournament.
“It was a team effort,” Hayes said. “Overall we hit well and we played great defense.”
Foster and Jalen West both had a homerun during the tournament. Adam Crowder did most of the catching for Parks and gunned down several base runners during the tournament.