14-year-old All-Stars cruise to area title before dropping state opener
By By Scott Cooper- Sports reporter
Brewton's 14-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars captured the Area-2 championship in convincing fashion while earning a trip to Huntsville for the state tournament.
Opening the state competition on Friday against South Huntsville, the 14-year-old All-Stars suffered a loss in the double-elimination format that puts them in the tough position of having to advance through the loser's bracket.
However, a decisive win over Madison on Saturday built some positive momentum that Brewton will attempt to carry further into tournament play.
Brewton was scheduled to compete again on Saturday at 6 p.m. in a rematch with South Huntsville. Details of that game will be reported in the Wednesday edition of The Brewton Standard.
Covington County 1
In the Area-2 championship game played July 8 in Opp, the 14-year-old All-Stars spotted Covington County a run before getting untracked with six fourth-inning runs that propelled them to victory and a place in the state tournament.
Covington County drew first blood with a first-inning run on two base hits, and then maintained a 1-0 advantage through three innings.
In the top of the fourth, Brewton starting pitcher Baxley Raines sat Covington down in order before the Brewton offense went wild in the bottom half of the inning.
Jared Cooper and Becker Denton got the offense started with consecutive singles. Travis Holland's double brought the first run in that deadlocked the game at 1-1. Aaron Lambert then lashed a two-RBI single, pushing the lead out to 3-1. Following a run that scored on an error, RBI hits by Mackie Jackson and Raines accounted for two more runs and a 6-1 Brewton lead.
Raines continued controlling the Covington offense in the top of the fifth as the Brewton bats prepared to inflict more damage in the bottom of the inning.
A Denton single was followed by an RBI double by Holland that further strengthened Brewton's position at 7-1.
After Raines once again handcuffed the Covington batters in the top of the sixth, Brewton came to the plate and put the game away.
Brad Smith singled before Allen Williams drew a walk. Then, RBI singles by Jackson, Raines, Cooper and Jimmie Jones closed-out the 11-1 win due to the 10-run rule being in effect.
In his winning effort from the mound, Raines allowed four hits and struck-out eight batters in six innings work.
Pacing Brewton's offensive efforts were Aaron Lambert, 1-for-1 with two RBIs; Brad Smith, 1-for-1; Jared Cooper, 3-for-4 with one RBI; Travis Holland, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Mackie Jackson, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Baxley Raines, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Becker Denton, 2-for-4 and Jimmie Jones, 1-for-3 with one RBI.
All-Stars drop opening game
South Huntsville 6,
Friday's state tournament opener against South Huntsville saw Brewton grab a quick lead that soon evaporated into a deficit. Forced to play catch-up from that point on, the Brewton All-Stars ended on the short side of a 6-4 decision that placed them in a must-win situation the remainder of the tournament.
Things looked good early in the contest, as two Brewton runs moved across the plate in the top of the first inning.
Baxley Raines reached on an error before moving to third on Jared Cooper's ground-rule double. Travis Holland then proceeded to clear the bases with a two-RBI single that put Brewton out front, 2-0.
South Huntsville responded with two runs on two hits in their first at bat, sending the two teams to the second inning locked in a 2-2 tie.
The second inning was scoreless, but then South Huntsville seized a lead in the third that would hold up to the end.
A leadoff walk placed runners on first and second bases. A two-out double that followed was responsible for two runs coming home while lifting South Huntsville to a 4-2 lead.
While Brewton's offense was being controlled by the opposing pitching staff, South Huntsville produced a run in the fifth inning and another in the sixth to hold a 6-2 advantage as Brewton came to the plate for a final chance to make something happen.
Three straight walks by the Huntsville pitcher allowed some hope for a Brewton comeback. Aaron Lambert then came through with a fielder's choice RBI that reduced the deficit to 6-3. Another run came home on a steal following a strikeout of a Brewton batter, further cutting into the lead at 6-4. But, the next batter grounded-out to end the game and force Brewton into the loser's bracket.
Leaders at the plate for Brewton were Jared Cooper, 2-for-3; Tanner Shehan, 1-for-2 and Travis Holland, 1-for-3 with two RBIs.\
Pounding-out 20 base hits after falling behind early in a July 12 contest, Brewton got back on track by going on to notch a 15-6 victory over Madison.
Trailing 3-0 as they came to bat in the bottom of the first inning, Brewton produced a lone run that edged them closer, 3-1.
Madison stretched their advantage to 4-1 in the top of the third with a run on one base hit, but then Brewton began making a serious move in the bottom of the inning.
Baxley Raines started the rally with a solo home run that made the score stand at 4-2, and then Aaron Lambert's RBI single later in the inning pulled Brewton within a single run, 4-3.
Having warmed-up the bats the previous inning, Brewton took complete charge in the fourth inning.
Kendall Land began the offensive onslaught with a leadoff double before moving to third on a passed ball.
After Mackie Jackson drew a walk, Becker Denton produced an RBI single that tied the game, 4-4.
A balk called on the Madison pitcher brought home a run while giving the Brewton All-Stars their first lead at 5-4.
After an error allowed another run to cross the plate, RBI base hits by Raines, Land and Tanner Shehan pushed the advantage to 9-4.
From that point on, Brewton's lead did nothing but escalate. Adding two runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth, the 14-year-old All-Stars built a 15-6 advantage before finishing-off the win by shutting-down the Madison offense in the top half of the seventh.
Raines went the distance while earning the win, allowing two earned runs on four hits and striking-out seven batters.
Offensive leaders for Brewton were Kendall Land, 4-for-4 with one RBI; Aaron Lambert, 1-for-1 with one RBI; Justin Gomez, 1-for-1 with one RBI; Baxley Raines, 3-for-4 with two RBIs; Becker Denton, 2-for-3 with two RBIs; Travis Holland, 3-for-5; Jared Cooper, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Tanner Shehan, 1-for-2 with one RBI; Bracken Davis, 1-for-2 and Mackie Jackson, 1-for-3 with two RBIs.