Athens — The Athens 12 and under All-Stars ran into their toughest competition of the district tournament Saturday night at Coleman Park in a 5-2 loss against the Palestine National All-Stars.
Coach Billy Brewer’s team is now 1-1 in the tournament and will return to the diamond tonight against the Palestine American All-Stars at 8 p.m. Athens will wrap up its portion of the district tournament on Monday night against Fairfield at 6 p.m.
Athens had the game in control in the first three innings of the game as starting pitcher Keaton Powell retired eight of the first 10 batters he faced.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Athens All-Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead as Powell reached base on a fielding error by the Palestine first baseman.
Landry Johnson then reached on a single to put two runners on base with one out. Junior Garcia then drove in Powell with an RBI-single to deep left field.
Following a strikeout to Garrett Wright, Ty Rayburn drove in Johnson with a shot to left field for the 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, Palestine was able to get the lead they would never relinquish as they had runners on first and second with two outs.
They found a way to clear the bases on a deep triple to right field to tie the game and then the Palestine base runner scored from third on an errant throw for the 3-2 lead.
Palestine would add two more runs in the sixth inning for the 5-2 finale.
Isaac Garcia led the way for the Athens All-Stars going 2-for-3 with a stolen base, while teammate Connor Kale went 2-for-2 with a double.
Powell had a solid outing going five and 1/3 innings allowing five runs on five hits. He struck out 10 batters and walked four batters.