14-year old All-Stars win secures state tourney berth
By By Scott Cooper- Sports reporter
After notching consecutive wins in the Area-2 Babe Ruth tournament being held in Opp, the 14-year-old Brewton All-Stars looked to close the deal on the tournament title with a July 6 win against Covington County. However, a 7-4 loss in the double-elimination competition forced the 14-year-old All-Stars into the position of needing a July 8 win over Covington County. The team earned its ticket to the state tournament with an 11-1 win Tuesday night.
Brewton 12, Opp 0
Riding the no-hit performance of starting pitcher Mackie Jackson, Brewton opened the tournament on July 3 with a decisive 12-0 victory over Opp.
While Jackson was completely dominating the Opp offense, Brewton's bats sizzled for seven second-inning runs that set the stage for more offensive production to follow.
The first inning was played to a scoreless tie, but then Brewton came to bat in the top of the second and made things happen in a big way.
Singles by Travis Holland, Allen Williams and Baxley Raines proved to be the big hits that placed Brewton in firm control with a 7-0 lead.
While Jackson and the error-free Brewton defense maintained dominance over Opp's offensive efforts, Brewton added a run in the third inning that further stretched the lead.
A Kendall Land walk was followed by Williams' double before Jackson's RBI double brought Land home and pushed the Brewton advantage out to 8-0.
In the top of the fourth, Brewton effectively put the game away, as RBI hits from Holland, Jared Cooper and Aaron Lambert produced four more runs while padding the cushion to 12-0.
After Jackson sat the Opp offense down in the bottom half of the inning, the game was called due the 10-run rule.
In addition to his no-hitter, Jackson allowed only two batters to reach on walks and struck-out four.
Leading the Brewton offense were Aaron Lambert, 1-for-1 with two RBIs; Travis Holland, 2-for-3 with one RBI; Allen Williams, 2-for-3; Baxley Raines, 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Mackie Jackson, 1-for-3 with one RBI.
Covington County 3
Brewton kept the positive momentum intact when they squared off against Covington County on July 4 and came away with a convincing 13-3 win.
While Baxley Raines kept the Covington County offense off balance over the course of the contest, Brewton pounded-out 11 base hits and took advantage of six Covington errors to build a lead that only escalated as the game evolved.
RBI singles by Tanner Shehan and Mackie Jackson gained Brewton a 2-0 lead in the second inning of play.
Following a scoreless third inning, RBIs off the bats of Raines, Jared Cooper and Travis Holland moved four more baserunners across the plate while upping Brewton's advantage to 6-0.
In the top of the sixth inning, Covington produced three hits and took advantage of three walks to mount a rally that reduced the lead down to 6-3.
Brewton, however, came right back in the bottom of the inning and reciprocated with a furious rally that ended the game.
Two runs scored due to Covington control problems from the mound before consecutive two-RBI doubles by Allen Williams and Raines pushed the lead to 12-3. Jared Cooper then ended the game due the 10-run rule after his fielder's choice moved another runner across the plate, making the game-ending score 13-3.
Raines earned the win with a three-hitter that included nine strikeouts over six innings.
Pacing Brewton's offense were Raines, 4-for-5 with three RBIs; Travis Holland, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Becker Denton, 1-for-2; Kendall Land, 1-for-2 and Jared Cooper, two RBIs.
Covington County 7,
Although in the enviable position of having two chances to win the tournament, Brewton sought a victory in Sunday's contest to end the competition swiftly and put the wraps on the area championship.
Covington County, though, had other ideas and controlled the action over much of the game before a late Brewton rally tied the game. But, a final-inning Covington offensive rally earned them the win that forced Brewton into a July 8 title-game rematch.
After Brewton was held scoreless in the top of the first inning, Covington swung the bats with authority while gaining the lead in the bottom half of the inning.
Two runs on two hits added up to a 2-0 deficit for Brewton heading to the top of the second inning.
At that point, Brewton responded by knotting the score. Jared Cooper reached on an error, and then moved to third on Becker Denton's single to centerfield. Jimmie Jones then pushed Cooper across the plate with a fielder's choice before Denton later scored on a passed ball that deadlocked the contest, 2-2.
Covington answered in the bottom of the inning, manufacturing two more runs on three base hits while assuming the lead at 4-2.
With pitching and defense highlighting the action over the next several innings, the score remained unchanged as Brewton came to bat in the top of the sixth.
A Mackie Jackson single to right field was the start of a Brewton rally that pulled the 14-year-old All-Stars even. Following Jackson's single, Baxley Raines delivered an RBI double that made the score 4-3. Jared Cooper then moved Raines to third with a sacrifice bunt before Denton's clutch two-out RBI single to left field tied the game, 4-4.
In Covington's next turn at the plate, Brewton's fortunes were reversed. With two outs, the Brewton defense surrendered a walk and two singles that Covington converted into a run. Then, a Brewton fielding error led to two more runs that placed the local All-Stars at a 7-4 disadvantage as they came to bat in the top of the seventh.
With one final opportunity to make something happen offensively, Brewton focused on a final-inning rally. But, the Covington County pitcher retired the Brewton batters in order to preserve the win and force a second championship finale.
Batting leaders for Brewton were Becker Denton, 2-for-3 with one RBI; Baxley Raines, 1-for-2 with one RBI and Mackie Jackson, 1-for-3.