The Bluffton All-Stars suffered their first setback at the Dixie Youth Baseball AAA (10U) World Series on Monday, falling to Alabama 9-5 in Laurel, Mississippi.
A rocky start put the South Carolina state champs in an early hole, as the Bluffton squad stranded a pair of runners in the first and Alabama pounced for five runs in the bottom of the frame.
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Henry Numssen came on in relief and held the line, and Bluffton chipped away in the second when Noah Sepulveda smacked an RBI single and came around to score on a Capers Crosby grounder to cut the deficit to 5-2.
The Lowco squad struck again in the third when Nic Farrugia roped a run-scoring triple — his third in three games — and scored on Numssen’s infield single to pull within one.
The Andalusia All-Stars pushed across an insurance run in the fourth and tacked on three more in the fourth to take control and played strong defense to keep a potent Bluffton offense off the board in the fourth and fifth.
A two-out error opened the door for a Bluffton rally in the sixth, allowing one run to score and bringing the red-hot Farrugia to the on-deck circle as the tying run, but Alabama put out the fire to remain undefeated.
Austin Broene led the way at the plate for Bluffton, going 3-for-3 and scoring twice, while Farrugia was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a sharp lineout to deep center, and Sepulveda was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Numssen pitched 3 1/3 strong innings in relief, working out of a jam in the first and limiting Alabama to three runs (two earned) and five hits with six strikeouts. Farrugia allowed just one hit and one unearned run in 1 1/3 solid innings.
Bluffton is one of six teams remaining in the double-elimination tournament and will take on Louisiana in an elimination game at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
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