Dargan Lybrand and his players knew their backs were against the wall.
Trailing by two runs with three outs left, the Dixie Youth Minors Champions from South Carolina weren't going to go home without a fight.
"Our 12th batter can hit a home run," Lybrand said. "All of our kids can hit home runs. At any moment, I thought a home run would change the game and put us up."
That moment came in the sixth inning. A late home run by Landon Lucas gave the team out of West Columbia a chance, but they weren't able to force extra innings falling to Florida 6-5 in the "O-Zone" Division semifinals.
"I was feeling real hopeful," Lucas said. "I thought we were going to come back and win it, but my hopes fell short and we'll get them next year."
The West Columbia team won their first two games against Mississippi and Virginia respectively, but ran into setbacks against Alabama and Florida. Still, Lybrand believes his players have no reason to hang their heads.
"So proud of them," Lybrand said. "They overachieved. I'm sorry to get upset, but they worked hard and just came up a little bit short. It's unbelievable that they worked so hard and practiced so hard all through the year. (They're) a very good group of kids."
The loss secures South Carolina's spot in the tournament as the third place team.
Dixie Youth Majors Semifinals
DILLON (SC) 13
Dixie Youth Minors Semifinals
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