The 10th Street baseball fields buzzed with activity earlier this month, as Port St. Joe hosted the district Dixie All-Star Youth Baseball Tournament from June 3 through 6.
When the action concluded on the three fields Monday night, Franklin County teams lay claim to the Ozone (12U) and the AA (8U) titles, with Blountstown holding the first-place trophy in AAA (10U).
Although Blountstown, who needed to win twice on the night, had a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning of the Ozone game, Franklin County rallied and won by a score of 6-5. Both teams, however, will represent Dixie at the state tournament on June 25 in Marianna.
Both of the Port St. Joe teams (AA and AAA) that played on Monday also needed to win twice, since they had already absorbed a loss during the weekend.
Before the AA (coach pitch) contest between St. Joe and Franklin County, Port St. Joe coach Jim Norton told his young charges that they needed to “win one game two times” as they took the field.
Led by James Norton, Eli White, and Iva Bailey, St. Joe did win the first game, 11-6. Norton had three hits and scored twice, while White and Bailey each had two hits and scored two runs each.
Bailey, whose father is Franklin County basketball coach Ray Bailey, hit a four-bagger during the contest.
Both teams found runs to be at a premium during the second game, and with the score tied at 5-5, fans from both sides engaged in a healthy cheering competition as sounds of “Let’s go Franklin, let’s go” were quickly followed by “Let’s go St. Joe, let’s go.”
St. Joe took a 7-5 lead after the fifth inning, but Franklin County tied the score in their half of the sixth and took a 10-7 lead during the seventh inning.
St. Joe managed to push one run across in their final at bat, and had a runner at third base when the game ended with Franklin County holding on to win the game and the title 10-8.
In the second game, St. Joe’s Jordan Langston scored twice. Colby Blevins, Kade Dean, Trip Trett, and Breon Wynn each scored twice for Franklin.
Both teams will advance to the AA state tournament, to be held July 2 at Frostproof.
In AAA action, Port St. Joe scored eight runs in the fifth inning on their way to a 19-9 win over Blountstown, but could not hold the momentum as they lost the second game 8-4.
During the St. Joe win, Easton Williams connected for two home runs, scored three runs and drove in three. Bo Lenox, Kannon Roberts, and KT Thomas each scored three times, and Thomas sped to an inside-the-park home run.
Both Blountstown and Port St. Joe will advance to the AAA state tournament, which will be held in Marianna on June 25.