The Auburn Orange 12-and-under baseball team capped their season in stellar fashion on Thursday night with a 6-3 victory over South Carolina in the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series championship game.
The community is invited to help recognize the team’s achievement on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. with a celebration at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn.
The “O” Zone bracket provided plenty of nail-biting challenges to the Auburn squad with three-straight games leading up to the championship being decided on the last play of the game.
It is the third time is the 14-year history of the “O” Zone division that an Alabama team has won the World Series with the previous winners being the 2017 Fairhope squad and the 2014 Muscle Shoals team. It is the first World Series title for any Auburn team in any bracket.
Auburn Orange nearly ended that last year by advancing to the “O” Zone championship with a team that included four members from this year’s champions — Weston Luther, Sam Jackson, Hank Hudson and Ty Hudson. They fell in the 2018 title game to Ruston, La., who hosted this year’s World Series and Auburn beat 6-3 in the second round.
During the World Series Will Whatley was the team’s top hitter with a .438 batting average and five RBI. Colton Plan batted .400 as well while Hank Hudson hit .357 and matched Whatley’s team-high five RBI.
On the mound, Ethan Grooms was nearly unhittable and allowed just one earned run on three hits with 16 strikeouts in 10 innings. Jackson pitched a complete game in the championship game — including five-straight shutout innings to end the game. He finished the tournament with 13 1/3 innings and six earned runs on six hits with 11 strikeouts.