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13-year-old All-stars get home field advantage

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By Todd Martin

Shelby County's 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-star team is a well-rounded squad that is hoping to improve on last year's district run.

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The team lost to Frankfort in the district, but they did advance to the state tournament as the host team.

This year, the squad will get to play the district tournament at home.

"I think that's an advantage for us," Coach J.R. Wiley said. "The guys are little more comfortable here, and they're used to the field."

Wiley said the team's defense should be a strength.

"We've got two or three guys that can play shortstop or second, a couple catchers and center fielders, so we should be really strong up the middle," he said. "Our corners will be OK, and our field should be solid. I think we'll be really strong defensively."

On the mound and at the plate is where this team will have the most questions.

"We have a lot of guys that can throw, but we're lacking that stopper, that one guy that can shut a team down," Wiley said of his pitching staff. "But we do have four or five guys that can give us quality innings. In a tournament like this, it's really good to have numbers."

Wiley said his team can hit the ball pretty well, but he noted that it's when you get the hits that matter.

"Timely hits are going to be the big key," he said. "Getting hits with runners in scoring position or big two-out hits, that's what you have to get to win. It seems like it always comes down to that and pitching. If we can get some hits and some good pitching, I think we'll be fine."

The team has had two scrimmages, and pitching has been the key in both.

"In our first game we walked just one guy and we won," he said. "The second game, we walked about five or six, and we lost. We have to throw strikes and use our defense to win."

Shelby County will get a shot at revenge against the Frankfort team that knocked them from the district last year in the first round Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Clear Creek Park.

"Hopefully we can come out and play well and get things started off the right way," Wiley said.

Babe Ruth 13-year-old All-stars

Dillon Boone

Kambron Bruner

Nathan Hayes

Zach Holmes

Mason Jeffries

Buddy Johnson

Paul Miller

Hayden McIntosh

Kipp Moore

Lawson Page

Nathan Sames

Michael Smither

Zac Wiley

Coaches:

J.R. Wiley

Rick Hayes

Matt Buresh