Strange finish, forfeit give Brewton 14s district crown

Published 7:53 pm Wednesday, July 7, 2004

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Hang around baseball long enough and you are bound to see something you have never seen before.
The strange and unusual added a new chapter to its profile Monday when the Brewton Babe Ruth 14-year-old all-stars claimed the district championship with a victory over Atmore.
What made the outcome so unusual was Brewton was outscored 7-6.
After Brewton's Chris Griffin lined a double to start the top of the sixth inning off Atmore starting pitcher Hunter Milligan, the Brewton coaching staff brought to the attention of the umpiring crew that Milligan had pitched beyond his tournament allotment of innings. A lengthy meeting by the umpiring crew ended in Brewton being awarded a forfeit victory.
"You hate to have to win that way, but that's why you have rules," Brewton coach John Nelson. "Even though we were behind when the ruling took place, I have confidence we would have come back. After all, we had the tying run on second base with nobody out when play ended."
The close contest was a far contrast from Brewton's first two games in the tournament where it outscored their opponents 33-11.
Brewton got off to another fast start Monday when a single by James Hamric, an RBI triple by Will Waters and a wild pitch resulted in a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Atmore also got to Brewton starting pitcher Bobby Freeman in the bottom of the first inning, as a walk, three singles and a couple of errors enabled Atmore to score three runs and take a 3-2 lead.
Brewton regained control of the game in the top of the third inning. Hamric singled and stole second, while James Freeman was hit by a pitch. Waters muscled up for his second extra base hit of the game, a two-run double that put Brewton back in front. Then Jake Smith displayed even more strength when he crushed a two-run homer over the left-centerfield wall that extended Brewton's lead to 6-3.
Atmore ended Bobby Freeman's day on the mound three batters into the fifth inning when a hit batter, a single and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out. Hamric was unable to get out of the precarious situation when he took over, as a three-run triple by Milligan tied the game at 6-6 and then an RBI single by Ethan Brooks put Atmore in front 7-6.
Brewton advances to Area Tournament later this week at Atmore. Time and pairings have yet to be announced.
At Excel
Brewton 204 000 – 6 6 2
Atmore 300 04X – 7 6 0
Saturday's game
Brewton moved into the championship round Saturday when it blasted Monroeville 14-4 in just five innings.
A six-run outburst in the top of the first inning proved to be all the offense Brewton would need on this particular day.
Brewton sent 10 batters to the plate in that six-run first inning. James Hamric singled and scored on a double by James Freeman. Freeman and Jake Smith, who walked, later scored on wild pitches. Chris Griffin, and Derek Busby both had RBI singles with an RBI fielder's choice by Tyler Brown squeezed in between.
Monroeville got two of those runs back in the bottom of the first inning against Brewton starter James Freeman, but would get no closer than that 6-2 deficit and later 7-3 after three innings.
Brewton pretty much secured its victory when it broke loose for five runs in the fourth inning that knocked its advantage up to 12-3 at that point. Smith, Wesley Booker and Hamric all had RBI singles to fuel the rally.
Smith had an RBI single and Griffin had an RBI groundout in the fifth that kicked the 10-run rule into effect.
Busby actually got the win for Brewton, as he took over for Freeman one batter into the third inning and went the rest of the way. The duo combined for nine strikeouts (Freeman had five, Busby had four) as well as a six-hitter.
"It really helped take the pressure off when we got those six runs before they even batted. Our top of the lineup (Hamric, James Freeman, Will Waters and Smith) really did a great job. They each had two hits," Nelson said.
At Excel
Brewton 601 52 – 14 14 1
Monroeville 201 10 – 4 6 6