Lead slips away from Brewton 15s, but not victory
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
To say the Brewton Babe Ruth 15-year-old all-stars bent but did not break is not totally correct.
Brewton broke something all right, the heart of its opponent.
When Chris Griffin singled home Seth Holland in the bottom of the seventh inning, it not gave the Brewton Babe Ruth 15-year-old all-stars a 6-5 win over Atmore in Friday's opening round of the district tournament but it salvaged what could have been a crushing setback for the tournament host.
Brewton took a 3-0 lead in the opening inning and held a 5-1 advantage through three innings only to see Atmore battle back and tie the game in the top of the sixth inning.
Brewton looked as if it might make quick work of Thomas and Atmore in the opening inning.
Singles by Holland and Aaron Nelson, two Atmore errors and two wild pitches by Thomas led to three Brewton runs in the opening inning.
Atmore was able to get one of those runs back, an unearned run against Brewton pitcher James Hamric, in the top of the second inning to pull within 3-1.
Brewton was able to get that run back plus one more in the bottom of the third when RBI singles by Nelson and Will Waters took the lead up to 5-1.
After the shaky start, Thomas settled down and did not allow another hit until Griffin's game-winning single in the seventh.
In the meantime, Atmore was able to chip away at the lead. Two errors set up RBI singles by Matthew McGhee and Ethan Brooks in the fourth inning that cut Brewton's lead to 5-3.
Another Brewton error in the fifth inning allowed Benjamin Hess to score and cut the lead to just 5-4.
Atmore finally pulled even against Hamric and Brewton in the sixth when Brooks singled, stole second and scored on a single by Hess.
Thomas had set down 10 of the previous 11 batters he had faced until he walked Holland to start the bottom of the seventh inning.
That was the start of a series of mistakes that led to Atmore's downfall. Holland moved into scoring position when Thomas uncorked a wild pitch and then balked him to third base with nobody out. Griffin then lined the next pitch up the middle for the game-winning single.
The win sends Brewton into the tournament's semifinal round where it will
play Saturday's Evergreen/Monroeville today at 2 p.m. If Brewton wins today, it will advance to Tuesday's 5:30 p.m. championship round where its opponent will have to beat Brewton twice in order to win the tournament. If Brewton loses today, it will go to the elimination bracket where it will play Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Atmore 010 211 0 – 5 7 2
Brewton 302 000 1 – 6 7 4