Brewton Babe Ruth 15s go two and out at state tourney
It was a long trip to the state tournament at Attalla for the Brewton Babe Ruth 15-year-old all-stars. Unfortunately for Brewton, the trip was a lot longer than its stay.
Although Brewton received a first-round bye, it went two and out on the field during the competition.
"We didn't hit as consistently as we needed. We had some chances, but we didn't get a lot of clutch hits," Brewton coach Baxley Raines said.
Brewton suffered an 8-3 loss to Etowah County in Saturday's second round of play.
"Etowah County won the state championship last year and finished second at the Babe Ruth World Series last year as 14-year-olds so we knew they had an outstanding team," Raines said.
Both the top and bottom halves of the first inning were keys to the game.
Etowah County set the tone for the game when it jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top half of the frame. Then in the bottom half of the inning Brewton loaded the bases with just one out through singles by Becker Denton, Baxley Raines and Jared Cooper, but failed to score.
"That was a big point in the game. We had a chance to get right back in it, but didn't get the key hit," Raines said.
Etowah County extended its lead to 4-0 in the top of the second inning although Brewton got that run back in the bottom of the third when Raines doubled and later scored.
Etowah County slowly pulled away over its next three at bats, as two runs in the fourth inning and single markers in the fifth and sixth knocked the lead up to 8-1.
Brewton got its final two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Travis Holland walked and Kendall Lad hit into a fielder's choice, Tanner
See STATE Page 7
Shehan, Denton and Raines hit successive singles that plated a pair of runs.
Raines went the first four innings on the mound for Brewton before Williams finished up.
"Baxley didn't throw that many pitches (70), but it was extremely hot and that took a big toll on both Baxley and Allen," Raines said.
In addition to the loss on the scoreboard, Brewton suffered perhaps an even bigger loss on the field when third baseman Mackie Jackson suffered a severely sprained ankle when he tried to leg out a hit in the fourth inning. Jackson was unable to perform the rest of the tournament.
"Losing Mackie really hurt. In addition to his third base duties, he was scheduled to pitch the second game for us. That really cut into our pitching depth and forced us to realign our defense," Raines said.
Brewton was knocked out of the tournament when it fell to Alexander City 6-5.
"We had our chances in that game. We got out to an early lead and then came back in the late innings. We had the tying run in scoring position when the game ended, but once again we couldn't get the clutch hit," Raines said.
Brewton took its first lead at the tournament in the top of the second inning when walks to Shehan, Holland and Matt Hamric set up a two-run single by Aaron Lambert.
Although Alexander City erased that 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the in the bottom of the third inning, Brewton regained a 3-2 advantage in the top of the fifth when Shehan reached on a fielder's choice and scored when Holland reached on an error.
Alexander took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs and scored what proved to be two decisive runs in the sixth to make it 6-3.
Brewton only had five hits in the game, but three of them came in the seventh inning when it nearly pulled the game out. Denton doubled to start the frame and Raines doubled him home to make it 6-4. A one-out single by Shehan scored Raines and the lead was sliced to just 6-5. Shehan later moved into scoring position with just one out, but never left second base.
With Raines and Williams used up the day before on the mound and Jackson injured, Coach Raines opted to start Land on the hill where he worked into the third inning. Shehan worked two plus innings before Denton finished up.
"Both Kendall and Tanner hadn't pitched throughout the tournaments for us so that was tough for them. We had contemplated going with Becker since had pitched some for us, but we wanted to hold him back for the next game if we got that far. Pitching isn't what beat us though. Both Kendall and Tanner did a great job considering the circumstances. We just couldn't get the big hits," Raines said.
Etowah Co. 310 211 0 – 8 6 0
Brewton 001 000 2 – 3 9 3
Brewton 020 010 2 – 5 5 3
Alexander Ci. 002 022 X – 6 3 1