15U wins state
By Michael Butler
It's like a page from the script of "Sandlot." The kids picked the team.
Tallassee's Babe Ruth all-star team almost didn't happen.
"You have to sign an all-star commitment form. I think we had seven, maybe eight sign," head coach Justin Ellis said. "We try to have a 13-year-old team and at least a 14- and 15-year-old team. We didn't have enough for one team.
"The great thing about this was the kids actually put this team together. Clayten Gough texted me after we decided we wouldn't have a team. 'Hey coach, if I get enough to have a team, will you coach us?' I said, 'Yes. Absolutlely.' We were able to get 13 guys."
Now those 13 guys are state champions.
"It's great," said Ellis. "Our season ends a lot earlier than some of these other leagues. These guys put in about three and half weeks of hard work. It paid off for us."
Tallassee beat Brewton 8-3 to win the title in Phenix City on Saturday, June 29. It was the same team that dealt the Tallassee team its only tourney loss, 6-4 on day one.
"It was pool play the first two days and single elimination on Saturday," Ellis noted. "We had to make sure that we had all of our guns on Saturday."
That opening loss didn't hurt as Tallassee went undefeated the rest of the way. Tallassee earned the top seed with a 12-3 win over Sylacauga and 10-5 victory against Phenix City.
Tallassee beat Sylacauga again on Saturday morning 4-2 and avenged its setback to Brewton for the championship.
The state title is the fourth in eight years for a Tallassee Babe Ruth team. Now the squad is preparing for the Babe Ruth Regional in Pine Bluff, Ark. from July 18-24. If they win, Tallassee advances to the Babe Ruth World Series in Bismark, ND.
Tallassee Babe Ruth 15U Baseball All-Stars
Coaches: Justin Ellis, Jeffrey Ellis, Robert Ellis, Brad Bonner