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Fresh off of claiming the district championship over the weekend in Frankfort, the Shelby County 12-year-old Cal Ripken All-Star Team used solid hitting and strong defense to advance out of the first round at the State Tournament In Lexington, beating Bath County, 13-3, after four innings of play.
Shelby started slow, allowing two runs in the first inning of play but then held Bath County to just one run during the next three innings.
Pitching was halved during the four innings by EJ Burk and Mark Sorrells.
Burk also powered the offense with one hit, two runs and two RBIs, and Jimmy Hulce added two hits and two runs.
Coach Mike Dugle said it was a team effort that got the job done, as the squad scored 7, 4, 0, and 2 runs during its four at-bats.
"The rest of the team jumped in on the action and played very well," he said. "They hit the ball very well."
Dugle said his team has peaked at the right time and is playing with a lot of confidence as they advance in the bracket.
"Our team hadn't played its best baseball leading up to the district, where they performed admirably. Now I think the guys have a lot more confidence that we can win. They start to feed off one another."
The next challenge will take place tonight against Northern Lexington, which beat Danville on Wednesday night. Hoping to build off of Tuesday's success, Coach Dugle said Kyler Dugle will pitch against the stiffer competition.
"We put together a good opening-round win in the State Tournament.
But I think Friday night we'll see tougher competition," he said.
"I feel good about our team. I think we're playing good baseball, and I think we can be competitive with anybody we go up against."
If they win, they'll advance one game closer to the championship and play on Saturday at 2 p.m. With a loss they'll play at noon Saturday.