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Galax, Carroll National advance in O-Zone

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The host team reached the final two as the last unbeaten in the tournament.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

Galax and Carroll County National were the last two teams standing after four days of the Dixie District 1 O-Zone baseball tournament at Mountain View Park.

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Galax entered Tuesday’s round the lone unbeaten in the original field of eight teams of 11- and 12-year-olds, while Carroll National advanced to Tuesday with one loss, needing to defeat Galax twice to win the district.

DAY 1

Carroll National 15, Carroll American 6: The two Carroll County teams combined for six home runs to get the tournament started with a bang Friday morning.

Lucas Dalton and Dalton Edwards hit solo home runs to lead off the bottom of the first to give National an early 2-0 lead.

Carroll American rallied into the lead with four runs in the top of the second, but Carroll National tacked on four runs in the third to begin pulling away.

Dalton and Brandt Puckett each left the yard twice for National while Tyler Sessoms hit one out of the park for American.

Galax 16, Alleghany 0: The host team got its tournament run started on the right foot, scoring seven runs in the top of the first and rolling to the four-inning win. John Key and Matt Coomes hit back-to-back homers in the big first and Ty Rector added a two-run shot later in the inning.

Galax added seven more runs in the third.

Grayson County 17, Wythe East 0: Grayson County scored 16 runs in the first two innings and bumped Wythe East to the bottom bracket in Friday’s third game, which was called after three innings on the slaughter rule.

Devan Reeves highlighted a big eight-run first inning for Grayson County with a home run. Six different Grayson players scored two runs each.

Floyd County 14, Wythe West 4: An opening day marked by easy wins was capped by Floyd’s five-inning cakewalk over Wythe West. Scoreless entering the bottom of the second, Floyd exploded for six runs to take the lead for good.

DAY 2

Carroll American 6, Alleghany 0: The only North Carolina entrant in the field, Alleghany had a much better showing in the second day but exited the tournament without scoring a run.

Carroll American used a two-run Tyler Sessoms homer to take a 3-0 lead in the third inning and added three more runs in the fourth for the final margin. Carroll pitchers allowed three Alleghany baserunners in the game.

Wythe West 14, Wythe East 8: In an all-Wythe County elimination game, the boys from Rural Retreat kept the pressure on the East defense all game long and survived with the six-run win.

Galax 12, Carroll National 1: In a winners’ bracket contest, Galax broke open a 2-1 game with 10 runs in the final two innings, ending the game after the fifth on the 10-run rule. Jacob Stewart, Zaine Goodman, John Key and Matt Coomes all scored twice in the big finish for Galax.

Galax pitchers recorded 10 strikeouts on the day.

Grayson County 10, Floyd County 8: Floyd made a late charge but Grayson held on for the win to remain unbeaten after two days of play.

Grayson took a 5-4 lead into the top of the sixth, where it pushed five runs across to take a 10-4 lead. Floyd rallied with four runs but never got the tying run on base, suffering its first loss of the tournament. Brett Pope scored three runs and had a home run for Grayson. Riley Carr scored a pair of runs for Floyd.

DAY 3

Carroll American 13, Floyd County 9: American took control early with a six-run second inning but had to hold off a Floyd charge in an elimination game Sunday.

Tyler Sessoms and Jacob Dalton hit back-to-back homers in the second for Carroll American. Cole Montgomery scored four runs for American while Floyd got three runs from Hunter Keith and a solo homer from Hunter Atkins.

Carroll National 20, Wythe West 4: Carroll National put up the highest scoring total of the tournament’s first three days, eliminating Wythe West with a pair of huge innings.

National scored six runs in the top of the first, including a Garrett Haynes home run. Lucas Dalton, Dalton Edwards and Haynes each hit home runs in the span of four batters in a seven-run third inning

Galax 5, Grayson County 1:  In a meeting between the tournament’s last two undefeated teams, Galax overcame an early Grayson County lead to hold on for the win.

Travis Myers scored on a wild pitch in the top of the first for Grayson’s only run. Galax took the lead in the bottom of the third when Ben Williams and Gage Cooke both scored.

John Key added a run in the fourth before Galax tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth.

Jacob Stewart took the mound in relief with nobody out and the bases loaded in the top of the first, going the rest of the way for Galax. He struck out 11 batters in six innings of work.

Galax played one-loss Carroll American while Grayson County and Carroll National met in an elimination game Monday evening.