After a first-game loss in the district games, Graceville bounced back to win their way to the state tournament. They finished the district at runners up and will be state bound, striving to bring home a state championship to Graceville. The final two games synopsis were furnished to the TIMES and are below.
Graceville VS. Chipley – played Wednesday, June 6
Graceville moved one game closer to clinching their seat at state with the victory over Chipley Wednesday, June 6. Da’Quarious Ward scored early in the first for Graceville by Landen Gammons’ hard hit to right centerfield. The game remained one to zero until the fourth inning when Chipley found their rhythm and scored five runs that inning bringing the score one to five with Chipley on top. Graceville never gave up and came into the fifth inning and gave it their all scoring five runs of their own. Going into the top of the sixth and final inning with Chipley at bat, it was their last shot. Chipley gave Graceville a tough battle. Chipley scored two runs leaving Graceville no choice but to score runs of their own. Landen Gammons had a base hit to first. Marques Smith had a hit to advance Landen Gammons to second. Ernest Dixon’s hit loaded the bases. Troy Sumner came up to the plate with bases loaded and got a base hit of his own. Landen Gammons scored on Troy Sumner’s hit. With the bases still loaded and momentum in Graceville’s favor, Davion Cade smacked the ball to right field advancing Marques Smith home for the victory over Chipley, 8 to 7, eliminating Chipley in the district tournament.
Player stats: Kaleb Bush 0/3, Da’Quarious Ward 1/3, Landen Gammons 2/3 and one RBI, Marques Smith 1/3, Ernest Dixon 2/3, Troy Sumner 1/3 and one RBI, Davion Cade 2/3 and two RBIs, John Barnes 2/2 and one RBI, Jeremiah Dixon 2/2, Hunter Jones 1/2, David Baber 0/2 and Skyler Deon 1/2 and one RBI.
Graceville VS. Washington County (Vernon) – played Thursday, June 7
Thursday night, Graceville faced off with Washington County (Vernon). Both teams had one loss each. The winner earned the right to advance to the finals in district and an automatic seat at state. The loser would go home with a third-place finish in the 2018 District Tournament.
With victory on their minds, Graceville came out swinging and didn’t stop. Graceville scored six runs in the first and six more in the second and made it a 12-0 ballgame. Neither team scored in the third inning, but Graceville came into the top of the fourth and added five more runs to their total. Washington County (Vernon) failed to score any in the bottom of fourth and the ballgame was called. Graceville shut out Washington County (Vernon) 17 to 0 and eliminated them in the district tournament. With Graceville’s victory over Washington County (Vernon), they were guaranteed to advance to the state tournament to be held in Bristol Florida starting Saturday, June 30th. By Graceville fighting their way out of the loser’s bracket, they immediately faced the undefeated Holmes County (Bonifay) Thursday night.
Graceville takes second with loss to Holmes County
After an intense battle against Holmes County (Bonifay) with amazing hits and spectacular defensive plays by Graceville, the Tigers fell short of victory, 9-25. Holmes County (Bonifay) swept the 2018 AA Machine Pitch District Tournament. With Graceville as the runner up, both teams advance to the State Tournament held in Bristol Florida this year.
Graceville AA takes home Sportsmanship Award
Graceville was also awarded the 2018 AA Machine Pitch Sportsmanship Award at the district tournament. This award was determined by the officials calling the games throughout the event. Coach Adam Gammons stated, “This [trophy] means the most of all the trophies given tonight. It makes me proud. It means, you [team] are learning to show good sportsmanship and well on your way of becoming model citizens. That’s what it’s all about.”
Coach Gammons said he often referred to Proverbs 22:6 when working with children, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”