Local baseball squad wins 6U state championship, finishes season as top ranked team in the country

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Photo: The Coosa Christian 6U baseball team gathers for a photo after winning the Triple A state championship on Saturday, June 1 in Pell City. Pictured, bottom row, from left: Elijah Simmons, Cai Avila, Jenson Barber, Brix Embry. Middle row, from left: Kix Hollingsworth, Ledger Moore, Lewis Boyd, Jaxon Ball, Greyson Diffee, Tucker Wadsworth. Back row, from left: Jerrodo Avila, Zach Diffee, Zack Barber (head coach), Dewayne Boyd, Josh Simmons. (Submitted photo) 

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

The Coosa Christian 6U baseball team finished off its 2024 season in fine fashion.
At the 6U Triple-A state tournament on Saturday, June 1 in Pell City, the Conquerors defeated Maximum Exposure, 17-14, in the championship game, to capture the first-place trophy. As an added bonus, the team supplanted M.E. as the top team in the USSSA 6U power rankings.
Coosa had to overcome a five-run deficit in the five-inning championship game. The Conquerors trailed 14-9 entering the bottom of the fourth inning before scoring the final eight runs of the game.
After M.E. put across five runs in the top of the first, Coosa responded with six in the bottom of the inning. Jaxon Ball’s two-run double got the Conquerors on the board, then Brix Embry doubled in Ball to make it 5-3.
Tucker Wadsworth then singled home Greyson Diffee, Embry scored off an error and Elijah Simmons doubled in Wadsworth to give Coosa a 6-5 lead.
Maximum Exposure regained the advantage with a three-run top of the second, but Lewis Boyd scored on an RBI groundout and Ball came home on an error in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 8-8.
M.E. scored three more runs in the top of the third for an 11-8 lead. Ledger Moore hit an inside-the-park home run to cut the deficit to a pair of runs.
Three more runs from Maximum Exposure in the fourth once more put the Conquerors in a hole, but the team answered with four runs of their own. While Coosa held M.E. scoreless the rest of the way, respective base hits from Embry, Cai Avila, Wadsworth, Moore, Simmons, Kix Hollingsworth and Jenson Barber powered a four-run bottom of the fourth that narrowed the gap to 14-13.
Ball set the stage for a four-run fifth when he went yard over the leftfield wall in the first at-bat of the inning. Coosa then finished off the game with consecutive RBI triples from Tucker, Moore and Simmons.
Head coach Zack Barber said that the team’s fortunes “were at the other end of the spectrum” only a month ago.
“This group faced some adversity early on and didn’t get the opportunity of what it was like to win a game,” he said. “Once they finally got a win under their belts, it seemed like it boosted their confidence and made them work a little bit harder. Honestly, you couldn’t ask for a better group of kids to coach.”
Coosa lost to top-ranked Maximum Exposure just prior to the state tournament but defeated M.E., 10-8, in the state tournament semifinals.
“That really got out kids going when we beat them,” said Barber. “That jumped us from No. 4 to No. 1 in the nation. It was really special.”
For the three-game state tournament, Barber went 7-for-8 with two doubles, four runs scored and an RBI; Boyd went 6-for-7 with three double, for runs scored and an RBI; Hollingsworth went 4-for-5 with a run scored; Ball went 5-for-7 with two home runs, three doubles, five RBI and five runs scored; Embry went 4-for-6 with a double, three runs scored and two RBI; Simmons went 4-for-7 with a triple, a double, three RBI and a run scored; Wadsworth went 4-for-7 with a triple, three RBI and three runs scored; Moore went 4-for-7 with a home run, a triple, five RBI and two runs scored; Avila had two hits, three runs scored and an RBI; and Diffee had a hit, four RBI and two runs scored.
The Conquerors went 16-1 this season and won four out of the five tournaments they competed in. The team roster was comprised of players from Attalla, Gadsden, Ragland and Centre.
“It’s just a really good group of kids,” said assistant coach Dewayne Boyd, who is head baseball coach at Coosa Christian School in Gadsden. “They know how to win, and once these kids become accustomed to winning, they’ll take that mindset to every level they’ll compete at. I’m not saying that they’re the best six-year old team I’ve seen, but they’re pretty darn good. They’re at a different level right now than most other six-year old teams.”
The team’s assistant coaches are Jerrodo Avila, Josh Simmons and Zach Di-ffee.

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