Pictured: E.C. Bridges, Jr., pictured above, threw the first pitch of the championship game in honor of his dad, E.C. Bridges, aka “Mr. Champ”. Mr. Champ got the first Dixie Youth franchise started in Seminole County as well as in the State of Georgia. He loved baseball and inspired many young boys as he coached throughout the years. Pictured at left, left to right, the Seminole County Allstars are, back row: Head Coach Michael Jon Rogerson, Assistant Coach Stephen Scott, Preston Deal, Creek Durden, Luke Akers, Cullen Hicks and Assistant Coach Brad Akers; front row: Zach Odom, Brody Rogerson, Jack Palmer, Hezekiah Judkins, Reese Bridges, Luke Scott and Reed Phillips.
This past weekend, July 14-17, the Seminole County Recreational Department and the Seminole County Allstar team hosted the Dixie Youth 12U Baseball State Tournament.
It was all Indians from the first pitch on Thursday to the last out on Sunday afternoon. Seminole County swept the tournament, defeating Allstar teams from Lamar County, Crawford County and Wrens, Georgia in the process. Seminole County Allstars allowed only eight runs in five games while scoring fifty-five runs total for the Dixie Youth 12U Baseball State Championship. The ceremonial first pitch of the championship game was thrown out by E. C. Bridges.
The championship trophy was presented to the Seminole County Allstar team by National Dixie Youth Baseball Director Doug Kelley. The State Champion Indians will now compete in the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series in Anderson, South Carolina, July 29th to August 3rd. The World Series includes 11–12-year-old teams from Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Head coach Michael Jon Rogerson commented, “I am so very proud of these boys and what they were able to accomplish during this State Tournament. They have worked very hard and dug deep to practice and prepare for this tournament. Something that we have tried to instill in the boys was always keep your head up no matter what and to always care for your brother and teammate – a we is greater than me mentality. During the first practice, I told the team I wanted this to be a player led team, and at the end of the day on Sunday, all 11 had boys stepped up to the challenge and proved that we have a team full of leaders. I am just so proud of this team and what was accomplished this weekend.”
Seminole County residents and businesses have already proven to be huge supporters of this team by participating in various fundraisers to financially support the trip to Anderson, SC. If you would like to donate, contact a member of the coaching staff, Michael Jon Rogerson, Stephen Scott, or Brad Akers.
Seminole County Recreation Department Director Billy Fain and all responsible for staging the tournament thank the community and everyone who helped to make the past weekend’s Dixie Youth Baseball State Tournament the huge success it was.
A recap of the four-day tournament is as follows:
Day 1: Thursday, July 14th
Seminole County vs Lamar County: Seminole County Allstars got the day started early in the first inning with a Brody Rogerson single scoring one run, which was followed by a homerun from Preston Deal. The Allstars put up four runs in the third inning. The batters contributing to the inning included Creek Durden, Reese Bridges, Reed Phillips and Cullen Hicks, all sending runners across the plate and earning RBIs. Luke Akers was the winning pitcher for the Seminole County Allstars. He surrendered zero runs and zero hits over three innings with six strike outs, with a total of five strikeouts from the bullpen led by Luke Scott, Zach Odom, and Hezekiah Judkins.
Final Score 8-3 Seminole County.
Day 2: Friday, July 15th
Seminole County vs Crawford County: Seminole County’s offense fired off the day with an RBI from Luke Akers. Five runs were scored in the second inning led by Zach Odom, Jack Palmer, and Luke Scott. Hezekiah Judkins led the Allstars with the victory with his nasty curve balls. He lasted two and two-thirds innings, allowing one hit, zero runs and five strike-outs. Zach Odom and Preston Deal helped seal the deal from the bullpen with a total of four strikeouts. The Seminole Allstars tallied their points with two hits by Jack Palmer, three hits by Brody Rogerson and a homerun by Creek Durden.
Final Score 9-1 Seminole County.
Day 3: Saturday, July 16th
Game 1: Seminole County vs Wrens, Georgia: The Seminole County All-stars took advantage of the shaky pitching from Wrens. The bases were loaded with Seminole County Allstars when Creek Durden drew a walk, scoring one run. Seminole County notched four runs in the sixth inning, led by Luke Scott, Luke Akers, and Brody Rogerson – all sending runners across the plate. Luke Akers was credited with the win. He surrendered two runs on four hits over two innings, striking out two and walking one. Out of the bullpen Preston Deal was credited with six strikeouts and one walk, and Hezekiah Judkins with four strikeouts and zero walks. The Allstars tallied fourteen hits in the game. Zach Odom, Reese Bridges, Luke Scott, Creek Durden, Preston Deal and Brody Rogerson, all managed multiple hits. Zach Odom went three for four to lead Seminole in hits. Final score 15-2 Seminole County.
Game 2: Seminole County vs Lamar County: The Seminole County Allstars fired up the first inning with a Brody Rogerson single, scoring their first run. In the bottom of the fourth, Luke Akers hit a three-run homerun scoring Jack Palmer and Luke Scott. Later in the same inning, Creek Durden hit a two-run homerun scoring Brody Rogerson. Reese Bridges and Zach Odom both pitched a combined no hitter. The game ended by run-rule in the bottom of the fourth with a final Score of 11-0 in favor of Seminole County.
Day 4: Sunday, July 17th
Seminole County vs Wrens: Seminole County started early with Jack Palmer scoring on a Wrens’ error. Luke Akers was credited with the victory on two runs with four hits, over four and one-third innings, striking out six batters and no walks. Out of the bullpen Preston Deal was credited with two-thirds of an inning with two strikeouts. Creek Durden ended the game with a run-rule in the bottom of the fifth after a game ending grand-slam! Players with multiple in the win included Reed Phillips, Creek Durden, and Preston Deal.
Final Score 12-2 Seminole County. How ‘bout those Indians!