One player had been in the spotlight before and the other had not, but both played important roles in the North’s 5-4 win over the South in the 10th annual DeKalb County Senior All-Star Baseball Classic on May 30 at Sequoyah Middle School. Clarkston’s Andre Alexander drove in the winning run in the seventh inning while Tucker’s Demarcus Taylor pitched two perfect innings to finish the nine-inning game and earn the save. Alexander played only part-time this season while participating in a preseason conditioning program with the Atlanta-
Fulton County Rams semi-pro football team. Alexander, who had only one RBI for Clarkston this baseball season, also played defensive and offensive line for the Angoras football team.
The North trailed 4-2 before posting three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Decatur’s Todd Foster drew a bases loaded walk for the first run of the inning, and then Lakeside’s Daniel Comer scored the tying run on a wild pitch by South pitcher Tevin Whaley of McNair. With runners on second and third, Alexander reached first on an infield hit to the third base side of the pitcher’s mound that scored Chamblee’s Kyle Kimbrell with the go-ahead run. “It’s a new experience,” Alexander said of his appearance in the all-star game. “I didn’t expect it because I didn’t play a full season. But it was fun.”
Taylor came on in the bottom of the eighth and retired six straight batters, with two strikeouts, and was named North MVP. He played in the field before coming in to pitch the final two innings. “I was a little tired but I wasn’t going to give up a chance to pitch,” said Taylor, who was a starting pitcher for Tucker this season and had 55 strikeouts in 46 innings while compiling a 4-5 record. In last year’s Junior All-Star Classic, Taylor was the winning pitcher and was named his team’s MVP. He also had a hit and two RBIs in that game. “I really like playing in these kinds of games,” Taylor said. It was the sixth win in a row for the North, who leads the series 10-6 (there were two senior all-star games played in each of the first six years of the event). The North’s pitching shut down the South over the final five innings. Chamblee’s Linden Weng pitched the sixth and seventh innings to earn the win. He struck out two and allowed only one hit. Weng was 2-2 with a 2.13 earned run average and had 36 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings pitched during the season for the Bulldogs. Jabari Gayle of
Miller Grove was the MVP for the South. Gayle was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and was hit by pitches twice. On the mound, he allowed only one hit and struck out four batters in 2 2/3 innings pitched. Gayle batted .407 with 17 RBIs during the season for Miller Grove. The North got a run in the first and another in the fourth to lead 2-0 before the South posted four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Dunwoody’s Jared Martin had an RBI single in the first and the Wildcats’ Chris Hale drove in a run on a groundout in the fourth inning. Southwest DeKalb’s Timothy Jones and Lithonia’s Rasean Fullmore scored on a two-out error by the North, tying the game at 2-2. Two batters later, Gayle got his second hit of the game and drove in Miller Grove’s Sean Charleston and M.L. King’s Myles Sims for a 4-2 lead. Jones was the only other player for the South to have two hits in the game.