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charles stiff photo Athens Yankees pitcher Preston Benton delivers at pitch Wednesday in a 4-1 win over the Athens Cardinals in an elimination game.

The Athens Yankees are the lone Athens Teenage Baseball Association team remaining in the Junior Midget League State Tournament after a 4-1 win over the Athens Cardinals Wednesday night at Cain Park.

The upset of the ATBA champion Cardinals advanced the Yankees to take on the Kemp Buzz in a 10 a.m. Thursday game. The winner moves on to take on the Lindale Aggies at 6 p.m. Thursday.

In their opening round game, the Yankees suffered a 9-1 loss to Lindale.

The Cardinals saw their season end with a 13-2 record.

Preston Benton pitched four scoreless innings for the Yankees. Trevor Ludtke and Stoney Red pitched in relief.

Ludtke also contributed at the plate, going 2-for-3.

Payton Lowrie and Josiah Jones were among the defensive leaders for the Yankees.

Esteban Chairez was the pitcher of record for the Cardinals. He was relieved by Eric Marquez.

“Both teams played real hard,” said Cardinal coach Luke Odenthal. “The Cardinals’ players, coaches and fans wish the Yankees the best of luck to bring the state championship back to Athens.

“I’m very proud of our kids — all of them. They had an unbelievable year and represented Athens well in the tournament.

“Hats off to the Yankees.”

In the championship bracket, Riesel Pioneer Steele scored seven runs in the top of the fifth to secure a 14-13 win over the Lindale Aggies. The win earned Riesel the right to play the Valley Mills Red Raiders in a semifinal contest Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Valley Mills held on for an 8-6 win over the Brownwood Astros in Wednesday’s other quarterfinal.

In other elimination games, it was Bullard Bombers 19, Kemp Bandits 8; West Old Czech Smokehouse 10, Brownwood Cardinals 5 and Kemp Buzz 6, Bosqueville Gators 4.

Action continues Friday at 10 a.m. with the other semifinal. The title game is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The 12-team tournament is being hosted by the ATBA and is sanctioned by the Texas Teen-Age Baseball Association.

JUNIOR MIDGET LEAGUE STATE TOURNAMENT

July 23-27 — Coleman Park

Results and schedule for the 2007 Junior Midget League State Tournament:

Thursday’s Games

Field 1

10 a.m. — Bullard Bombers vs. West Old Czech Smokehouse

6 p.m. — Brownwood Astros vs. Bullard-West Old Czech Smokehouse winner p.m. — Athens Yankees vs. Athens Cardinals

Field 2

10 a.m. — Athens Yankees vs. Kemp Buzz

6 p.m. — Lindale Aggies vs. Athens-Kemp winner

8:30 p.m. — Pioneer Riesel Steele vs. Valley Mills Red

Wednesday’s Results

• Riesel Pioneer Steele 14, Lindale Aggies 13

• Valley Mills Red Raiders 8, Brownwood Astros 6

• Bullard Bombers 19, Eustace Bandits 8

• West Old Czech Smokehouse 10, Brownwood Cardinals 5

• Athens Yankees 4, Athens Cardinals 1

• Kemp Buzz 6, Bosqueville Gators 4

Tuesday’s Results

• Lindale Aggies 15, Eustace Bandits 5

• Riesel Pioneer Steele 9, Brownwood Cardinals 8

• Brownwood Astros 9, Athens Cardinals 7

• Valley Mills Red Raiders 12, Kemp Buzz 2

Monday’s Results

• Lindale Aggies 9, Athens Yankees 1

• Riesel Pioneer Steele 9, Bosqueville Gators 2

• Athens Cardinals 6, Bullard Bombers 2

• Valley Mills Red Raiders 2, West Old Czech Smokehouse 0

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