By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
Pirates capture Babe Ruth season title
The Pirates rode the dominating play they began showing midway through the season all the way to the Brewton Babe Ruth League regular season championship.
After beginning the season with a solid 4-2 mark, the Pirates shifted into another gear while notching victories in eight of their last nine games and ending with a league-leading 12-3 record.
The Astros, who held the league lead the first part of the season, finished in second with a 10-5 record. Although the Brewers and Blue Jays both completed play with 9-6 records, the Brewers received the nod as the third-place finisher due to a tiebreaker. Following the fourth-place Blue Jays are the Angels (4-10) and Devil Rays (0-14).
Blue Jays 9, Astros 2
Blue Jays' starting pitcher Justin Smith allowed only one hit in leading his team to a June 2 9-2 win over the Astros.
While Smith was putting the clamps on the Astros' offense, the Blue Jays scored two runs in the both the second and third innings for a 4-0 lead before coasting from there to the win.
Smith went the distance and struck-out 13 batters in complimenting his one-hit performance.
Leaders at the plate for the Blue Jays were Becker Denton, 2-for-3; Javaris Drakeford, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Jake Smith, 1-for-2; Aaron Lambert, 1-for-3 with one RBI; Derek Busby, 1-for-3 with one RBI and Mackie Jackson, two RBIs.
Kendall Land went 1-for-2 with one RBI to lead the Astros' offense.
Brewers 15, Devil Rays 5
The Brewers built a 7-0 lead after two innings before finishing with a comfortable 15-5 victory over the Devil Rays on June 2.
James Freeman, Bobby Freeman and Jared Cooper shared duties from the mound in the Brewers' winning effort, combining for a six-hitter and 10 strikeouts.
Offensive leaders for the Brewers were Jared Cooper, 4-for-5 with three RBIs; Justin Marshall, 3-for-4 with three RBIs; Bobby Freeman, 1-for-3 with one RBI; Jake Hodge, 1-for-3 with one RBI; Wade McCall, 1-for-3 and Jonathan Taylor, 1-for-3.
Leaders for the Devil Rays were Brice Martin, 2-for-2; Josh Sawyer, 1-for-2 with one RBI; Blake Bradley, 1-for-2 with one RBI; James Hamric, 1-for-3 with one RBI and Patrick Reeves, 1-for-3 with one RBI.
Pirates 11, Angels 1
The Pirates' Baxley Raines recorded the second June 2 one-hitter in leading his team to an 11-1 win over the Angels.
The Pirates received RBI base hits from Justin Gomez and Daniel Pace in a six-run second inning that placed them in control with a 6-1 lead. From that point, Raines simply overwhelmed the Angel batters while the Pirates continued stretching their advantage.
Raines struck-out 14 and allowed only two walks in a complete-game win.
Pacing the Pirates offensively were Robin Travis, 1-for-1; Justin Gomez, 2-for-3 with one RBI; Hayes Martin, 2-for-3 and Daniel Pace, 1-for-2 with one RBI.
Clayton Booker's 1-for-2 performance led the Angels' offensive efforts.
Brewers 11, Pirates 6
In a June 3 meeting with the league leaders, the Brewers scorched the Pirates for 13 base hits on the way to an 11-6 victory.
Down 5-2 as they came to bat in the fifth inning, the Brewers scored five unanswered runs to jump-out front, 7-5. Then, four more seventh-inning runs cushioned the lead as the Brewers closed-out a decisive victory.
Justin Marshall tossed a six-hitter and struck-out 11 while going the distance in his winning performance.
Batting leaders for the Brewers were Justin Marshall, 3-for-4 with one RBI; Travis Holland, 3-for-4; Bobby Freeman, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Jared Cooper, 2-for-4 with one RBI; Jonathan Taylor, 1-for-2 and Kyle Baggett, 1-for-2.
Leading the Pirates' offense were Baxley Raines, 2-for-3; Tyler Brown, 1-for-2 and Hayes Martin, 1-for-3.
Blue Jays 16, Angels 8
The Blue Jays manufactured 16 runs on 11 base hits in a June 3 16-8 victory over the Angels.
The Blue Jays followed a lone first-inning run with six more in the second for a 7-0 advantage before comfortably finishing off the win.
Although the Blue Jays used four pitchers in the game, starter Becker Denton recorded the win as he allowed no runs or hits and struck-out four in two innings work.
Offensive leaders for the Blue Jays were Justin Smith, 3-for-3 with four RBIs; Aaron Lambert, 2-for-3; Becker Denton, 2-for-4 with one RBI; Casey Butts, 1-for-2; Chris Griffin, 1-for-2 and Bracken Davis, 1-for-3.
Leading the Angels' offense were Whitney Qualls, 2-for-4; Kirby Green, 1-for-2 and Clayton Booker, 1-for-2.
Astros 15, Devil Rays 5
In a June 3 matchup against the Devil Rays, the Astros broke open a tight game with eight third-inning runs that proved to the be the catalyst in a 15-5 victory.
Finding themselves on the short end of a 4-1 score as they came to bat in the third, the Astros took advantage of Devil Ray control problems on the mound to score eight runs and take control of the contest. After three more runs in the fourth inning padded the cushion to 12-4, the Astros' lead remained unthreatened.
Jimmy Jones notched the win in a starting role, going five innings while allowing 10 hits and striking-out seven.
Leading the Astros' offensive efforts were Matt Hamric, 2-for-2 with one RBI; Jimmy Jones, 1-for-1 with one RBI; Brad Smith, 1-for-2 with one RBI and Jordan Cauley, 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Batting leaders for the Devil Rays were James Hamric, 2-for-2 with one RBI; Josh Sawyer, 2-for-2; Blake Bradley, 1-for-2; Brice Martin, 1-for-3 with one RBI; Matt Madden, 1-for-3 with one RBI; Fred Samuel, 1-for-3 and Cory Burkett, 1-for-3.
Pirates 6, Devil Rays 2
Antonio Gomez took control from the mound in leading the Pirates to a June 5 victory over the Devil Rays.
After giving-up one run on one base hit in the first inning, Gomez allowed only two more hits the rest of the way as the Pirates polished-off the regular season with a 6-2 win.
In addition to his three-hitter, Gomez recorded 15 strikeouts and allowed only two free passes on walks.
Leaders at the plate for the Pirates were Allen Williams, 3-for-3; Justin Gomez, 2-for-2; Hayes Martin, 2-for-3 with two RBIs; Antonio Gomez, 2-for-3; Tyler Brown, 1-for-2 with one RBI and Baxley Raines, 1-for-3.
Devil Ray batting leaders were Patrick Reeves, 1-for-3; Nick Stanley, 1-for-3 and Matt Madden, 1-for-3.
Brewers 17, Blue Jays 14
A June 5 matchup of the Brewers and Blue Jays produced 32 base hits and 31 runs in a game that was not decided until the final inning.
The two teams traded punches over six innings before heading to the seventh tied, 14-14. The Brewers then scored three unanswered runs to exit with a 17-14 victory.
Jared Cooper earned the win for the Brewers in a relief role, allowing five runs on five hits while striking-out three.
Leading the Brewers' offense were Justin Marshall, 4-for-4 with one RBI; Parke Dubose, 3-for-4 with two RBIs; Wade McCall, 3-for-4 with one RBI; Steven Murphy, 2-for-3 with three RBIs; Jared Cooper, 1-for-3 and Bobby Freeman, 1-for-3.
Offensive leaders for the Blue Jays were Derek Busby, 4-for-4 with one RBI; Bracken Davis, 2-for-3 with one RBI; Chris Griffin, 2-for-4 with one RBI and Justin Smith, 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Astros 10, Angels 1
In a June 5 game against the Angels, the Astros raced out of the starting gate with four first-inning runs before cruising to a 10-1win.
The Astros led 8-0 before the Angels got on the scoreboard with a run in the fifth inning. Holding an 8-1 advantage at that point, the Astros added two more scores while putting the finishing touches on a decisive victory.
Jordan Cauley tossed a four-hitter and struck-out seven over four innings in notching the win.
Astros' leading batters were Jordan Cauley, 2-for-2 with two RBIs; Tanner Shehan, 1-for-1; Kendall Land, 1-for-2 and Michael Hunt, 1-for-3 with one RBI.
Leaders for the Angels were Josh Danley, 2-for-4; Will Waters, 1-for-2 and Kirby Green, 1-for-3.
Brewers 9, Astros 5
A June 8 win over the Astros stretched the Brewers' winning streak to four games while securing them the league's third-place position.
Trailing 4-3 as they came to bat in the bottom of the third, the Brewers produced five runs on five hits to leap out front, 8-4. After the final four innings were played to a 1-1 deadlock, the Brewers exited the contest in possession of a 9-5 victory.
Wade McCall earned the win in relief, going 4 2/3 innings while giving-up one run on two hits and striking-out 11 batters.
Pacing the Brewers' offense were Justin Marshall, 1-for-1; Bobby Freeman, 2-for-3; James Freeman, 2-for-4 with one RBI; Jared Cooper, 1-for-2 with one RBI and Wade McCall, 1-for-3.
Offensive leaders for the Astros were Matt Hamric, 2-for-3; Brad Smith, 1-for-2 with two RBIs and Ryne Hand, 1-for-3 with one RBI.