NABF, DIXIE TO MEET FOR GOLD MEDAL

Dixie homer nips AABC 1-0, NABF trips PONY 6-2

June 21, 2008

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CARY, N.C. -- Following semifinal medal-round victories that were punctuated by a nearly 3.5-hour rain delay, NABF and undefeated Dixie will meet June 22 for the gold medal of the 16th Annual USA Baseball Tournament of Stars presented by Major League Baseball.

The eight-team tournament, which showcases 144 of the nation's elite age 18-and-under high school and college athletes, concludes June 22 with the medal games and consolation-round play at Thomas Brooks Park at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

Donavan Tate (OF; Cartersville, Ga.) provided the game's only run with a fourth inning leadoff homer to power Dixie (4-0) -- the lone remaining unbeaten team -- to a 1-0 victory against AABC in a game that was delayed 3 hours and 27 minutes by rain after the top half of the first inning. Meanwhile, Ethan Bright (INF; Batesville, Miss.) and Patrick Blair (INF; Baltimore, Md.) each notched two-RBI base hits in a decisive five-run third inning as NABF (3-1) topped PONY 6-2 in the other medal round semifinal contest. In the two remaining June 21 games, Matthew Purke (LHP; Spring, Texas) tossed four-hit ball over seven innings as the USA Stars blanked RBI 5-0 while four Babe Ruth pitchers combined on a five-hitter in a 7-0 shutout of the American Legion.

Besides the gold-medal affair, three other games are scheduled for June 22. RBI (0-4) will meet the American Legion (1-3) for seventh place at 10 a.m. (Eastern time). In the fifth place game, the USA Stars (2-2) will face Babe Ruth (2-2) at 1 p.m. The bronze-medal contest at noon pits PONY (2-2) and AABC (2-2).

Tate snapped a scoreless contest with his homer to left field, his second roundtripper of the tournament. Dixie pitchers Matthew Graham (RHP; Springfield, Texas), Zach Lee (RHP; McKinney, Texas) and Colton Cain (LHP; Waxahachie, Texas) made that run stand up as the trio limited AABC to five hits while striking out 14 and issuing just one walk. Lee fanned seven in his three-inning stint while Cain whiffed the side in the ninth to close out the contest, which was played in just 1 hour and 57 minutes. AABC hurlers Wes Hatton (RHP; Norco, Calif.) and Josh Turley (LHP; Texarkana, Texas) permitted just three hits and combined for 13 strikeouts with no walks. Turley fanned seven in four innings of hitless relief. Both tournament losses for AABC, which was seeking its fifth straight appearance in the gold-medal game, have been 1-0 setbacks.