FRanklin County Dixie Majors win district titlePublished 9:33am Thursday, July 12, 2012
SHEFFIELD — The Franklin County Red Tigercats of the Dixie Majors took first place in the District 3 tournament Monday night, defeating the Sheffield Bulldogs 6-5 in come-from-behind fashion.
Franklin County would have had to be beaten twice for Sheffield to take the title, and early on it seemed as if the if necessary game would have to be played.
The Red Tigercats — so called as a combination of Red Devils, Tigers and Wildcats/Bobcats, due to the players being from Vina, Red Bay, Russellville, Phil Campbell and Tharptown — put the first run of the contest on the board in the bottom of the first on an RBI single to center field by J.T. Watkins.
From that point on until the fifth inning it was all Sheffield.
The Bulldogs scored five runs from the top of the second to the top of the fifth, mostly on RBI singles.
Sheffield had a 5-1 lead in the top of the fifth when Franklin County came back to life.
Abraham Mojica scored thwe first run of the rally by hitting an RBI single, followed by RBI singles from Jacob Green and Kevin Hastings.
This burst of offense narrowed the deficit to 5-4.
Franklin County did not allow the Bulldogs any more runs in the final two innings.
Everything came down to the final at-bat for Franklin County in the bottom of the seventh.
A couple of hits later, the Red Tigercats had runners on base.
Taylor Hamilton tied the game at 5-5 with an RBI single, and Franklin County had the bases loaded going into what would be the final at-bat of the game.
The batter did not end the game, however, because that was taken care of by the baserunning of Nick Schmittou.
Schmittou was on third base when the Sheffield pitcher hurled a throw that went wide right of the catcher.
Schmittou immediately took off from third base and beat the throw back to the pitcher at home plate by a narrow margin.
This was a walk-off run that gave Franklin County the 6-5 win and the first place trophy.
“I felt like if we could get some runs we could come back to life,” head coach Donnie Hastings said.
The Franklin County Red Tigercats will travel to Selma to play in the state Dixie Majors tournament next week.
Their first game will be on Thursday.