- Last Updated on 08:09 AM 07/18/12
- BY Joe Chandler
The South Boston Dixie Majors all-star team has been feasting on home runs in the Virginia Dixie Majors State Baseball Tournament at South Boston’s C.H. Friend Field, with Scott Rickman doing most of the damage.
Rickman smacked a two-run homer in the top of the third inning in Monday’s winner’s bracket game against Buckingham to give his team a 5-2 lead. From there, South Boston went to on to win 7-2, putting itself in a position where it needs only two wins to snare the state championship.
The round-tripper by Rickman was his second in three games.
“It’s kind of a surprise,” Rickman said of his two homers.
“They (the opposing pitchers) are throwing the right pitches, and I’m trying to do the best I can because this is my last year of playing ball. I’m just trying to stay focused, do my part and hit the ball as hard as I can. If it goes over, it goes over.”
South Boston Manager Justin King said Rickman is “a silent leader” of the team.
“When it comes to the state tournament, he always steps up,” King said.
“Last year against Goochland, he hit two home runs in one game. He’s just key in that role and is a valuable asset to the team.”
Teammates Joe Martin and Ryan Puryear have also contributed to the long ball propensity of the South Boston team. Both have a home run to their credit in the tournament.
“Those guys have always been able to hit,” King pointed out.
“I’m just happy they’re on our team.”
South Boston was scheduled to face once-beaten Carroll County in last night’s nightcap. A win by South Boston last night would set up a tournament championship game tonight against the winner of last night’s early game between Buckingham and Goochland.
Monday night’s game against Buckingham was the first time in the three games the team has played that it had received a true test.
With starting pitcher Derek Conner fanning eight batters and allowing just two hits and two walks in six and a third innings of work, South Boston took advantage of Buckingham errors and some timely hitting to get the job done.
Three Buckingham errors in the first inning opened the door for South Boston to jump on top 3-0 in the top of the first inning. Buckingham got back into contention with two runs in the bottom of the second inning to cut South Boston’s lead to a run at 3-2.
South Boston extended its lead to 5-2 in the top of the third inning with a triple from Ford Bradshaw that was followed by Rickman’s two-run homer.
Rickman laced a one-out single in the top of the fifth inning and pinch runner Rufus Jeffress scored on a single by Ryan Puryear to put South Boston up 6-2. The final South Boston run came in the top of the sixth inning when L.J. Barnett reached base on an error and scored on a single by Ryan Yates.
“I’m glad we played a close game,” King said.
“It put some pressure on our guys, and we still hit the ball and got the timely hitting when we needed it. Derek pitched a whale of a game for us and that was also a big part of the win.”
Halifax County had seven hits in the game with Rickman and Ryan Yates leading the team with two hits each. Bradshaw, Martin and Puryear each had a hit.
(All Games At C.H. Friend Field)
Game 2 – Goochland 9 Carroll County 2
Game 3 – Buckingham 13 Mecklenburg County 4 (6 innings)
Game 1 – South Boston 10 Cumberland 0
Game 4 – Carroll County 12 Cumberland 2
Game 5 – South Boston 13 Goochland 5
Game 6 – Carroll County 4 Mecklenburg County 1
Game 7 – South Boston 7 Buckingham 2
Game 8 – Buckingham Vs. Goochland – 5 P.M.
Game 9 – South Boston Vs. Carroll County – 8 P.M.
NOTE – If South Boston loses, there will be 3 teams remaining with one loss – a drawing will be held to determine which 2 teams will play on Wednesday and which team will receive a bye and advance to the championship game, which then would be Thursday.
Wednesday – Championship Game
Game 10 – Winner Game 8 Vs. Winner Game 9 – 5 P.M.
Thursday – Championship Game
If Necessary – Time TBA