One big hurdle still left for Brewton 15s
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
At this point, the Brewton Babe Ruth 15-year-old all-stars are not willing to exchange their position with anyone in the Area Tournament at Atmore. Then again, it is where the team stands at the end of the tournament that will be most important.
Brewton moved to within one win of a state berth Sunday when it downed host Atmore 12-2 in six innings.
The win gives Brewton two opportunities to gain that berth. The first came Tuesday. If a second and decisive championship game is necessary, it will be played tonight.
"We're definitely in the driver's seat, but we still have some unfinished business," Brewton coach Baxley Raines said. "It's been a long, hard road for us to get to this position. We lost that first game at the district tournament and then we've had to win six in a row since then."
The win over Atmore came against a familiar opponent. Atmore beat Brewton 11-10 in the opening round of district play before Brewton bounced back for a 4-2 win two games later.
"It's tough having to play a team that often in such a short span of games and there is the possibility we could see them again in the championship round. They've got a good club and they've given us some good battles," Raines said.
Brewton lashed out 13 hits in its victory, eight of which came from the top four spots (Tanner Shehan, Becker Denton, Baxley Raines and Jared Cooper) in its batting order. Cooper had three of those hits with a single and a pair of doubles.
Cooper's first hit, a single, started a two-run rally for Brewton in the top of the second inning. An error on Cooper's hit and a groundout by Mackie Jackson set up an RBI single by Matt Hamric. Hamric later scored on a wild pitch after both Allen Williams and Travis Holland both singled.
Brewton pitcher Allen Williams scattered seven hits in a complete game effort, but three of those hits came in the second inning when Atmore cut the lead in half on an RBI single by Gaylal Martin.
The big key in the game was Brewton's top of the third inning when it erupted for six runs. Atmore committed two key errors in that frame and allowed another batter to reach on a wild pitch after a third strike. Raines and Cooper had the big offensive blows, as each had RBI doubles.
Brewton's 8-1 lead was reduced by a run in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI double by Joe Drew.
Two-run frames in the fifth and sixth innings enabled Brewton to end the game early on the 10-run rule. Becker Denton had a two-run single in the fifth and Kendall Land had a two-run single in the sixth.
Brewton opened the tournament Saturday when it knocked off Andalusia 9-3.
Brewton scratched out a couple of runs in the early innings before it broke the game open in the middle frames.
Walks to Allen Williams and Becker Denton set up a sacrifice fly by Jared Cooper in the first inning.
In the second inning, walks to Denton and Baxley Raines preceded an RBI single by Cooper that doubled Brewton's lead to 2-0.
Brewton ran that advantage to 5-0 in the fourth inning, as a pair of errors and a two-run single by Denton led to three runs.
Jimmy Conner had an RBI single in the fifth inning that made it 6-0. Brewton made it 9-0 in the sixth with three more runs when Cooper's infield grounder was misplayed, Jackson hit a sacrifice fly and Bracken Davis added an RBI single.
Raines tossed a two-hitter and struck out nine. He had a no-hitter until the sixth inning when Andalusia's Wesley Glisson spoiled it with a single. An RBI groundout by Chris Akins later that inning ended the shutout.
Andalusia added a couple of
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final runs in the seventh inning without the aid of a hit.
"Perhaps we could have ended that game early, but we gave some of our other players an chance to play in the later innings," Brewton coach Baxley Raines said. "At the same time we ended the Atmore game Sunday and inning early. That was one less inning our pitchers had to work."
Brewton 101 313 0 – 9 6 0
Andalusia 000 001 2 – 3 2 3
Brewton 026 022 – 12 13 0
Atmore 011 000 – 2 7 4
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