For the second consecutive year, the North team needed some late-inning heroics to win the DeKalb County All-Star baseball classic.
In a nine-inning game played with wooden bats at Sequoyah Middle School (Chamblee’s home field), the North squad squandered a 2-0 lead, but it scored three runs in the seventh inning to win the contest 5-4.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Dunwoody’s Jared Martin hit a single that scored Tucker’s Demarcus Taylor from second base for the first run of the game. In the top of the fourth inning, the Wildcats’ Chris Hale drove in his teammate, Martin, to give the North team a two-run advantage.
Because of a wild throw to first base and an error at shortstop, the South team scored two runs early in the bottom of the fourth inning. Before the inning was over, the South added two additional runs and created a 4-2 lead.
In the top of seventh inning and trailing by two runs, the North squad loaded the bases. Decatur’s Todd Foster drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the lead to 4-3, and Lakeside’s Daniel Comer scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 4-4 with runners on second and third. Clarkston’s Andre Alexander hit an infield single, which scored Chamblee’s Kyle Kimbrel for the game-winning run.
Chamblee’s Linden Weng pitched two scoreless innings in relief to pick up the win for the North.
“I was really impressed with our defensive effort, and the pitchers really delivered,” said Chamblee head baseball coach Brian Ely, who was selected by his peers to be the head coach of the North squad.
“Linden’s stuff really overpowered the South’s batters, and I was really excited for Kyle. Being a catcher, he did not have the opportunity to run the bases much, so it was nice to watch him run the bases well and score.”
Both Chamblee and Dunwoody had three players on the roster. Chamblee was represented by outfielder David Coble, who scored 29 runs and stole 18 bases; Kimbrel, a catcher who drove in 26 runs; and, third baseman / pitcher Weng, who drove in 18 runs and scored 12 times during the regular season.
Wildcats second baseman Jerric Johnson had a .324 batting average, scored 24 runs, and stole 17 bases; Hale, a first baseman who had a .321 batting average along with 17 runs scored and 10 RBIs; and, Martin a catcher who batted .397 with four homeruns, 26 RBIs, and 12 runs scored.
The baseball all-star game is the longest running all-star game in DeKalb County.
“I thought it was an outstanding two days of baseball. We had great weather and a great turnout of fans,” said DeKalb County athletics specialist Chris Chilton. “I’d like to especially thank Brian Ely, Alan Loper, Martin Maslia and the people at Chamblee for being such gracious hosts. The field just looked outstanding. Also special thanks to principal Brittany Cunningham and her staff at Sequoyah. They made everybody feel at home.”