Second late rally puts Brewton 15s in title game
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
They may not sell many blueprints on how they win, but that is not what is important to the Brewton Babe Ruth 15-year-old all-stars.
What is important to the Brewton squad is they reached the championship game of the District 7 Tournament Sunday at T.R. Miller High School when they rallied to beat Monroeville 8-6.
For the second straight game, Brewton squandered a four-run lead only to win the game in its final at bat.
Brewton's win Sunday was even more dramatic than its 6-5 win over Atmore In Friday's opening round. In that first game, Brewton entered the bottom of the seventh inning tied and won it on Chris Griffin's game-winning single.
In Sunday's game, Brewton entered the top of the seventh inning behind 6-5 and had scored just one run in its previous five at bats.
James Hamric provided Brewton with some spark when he led off the inning with a double into leftfield. Seth Holland, who was a perfect three-for-three with two walks Sunday, lashed a single into leftfield. Monroeville leftfielder Chris Lee slightly bobbled the hit and that allowed Hamric to score the tying run.
Griffin then produced his second straight game-winning RBI when he ripped a triple into the right-centerfield gap. Griffin's triple easily scored Holland and put Brewton ahead 7-6. Jake Smith followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Griffin for a key insurance run that increased Brewton's lead to 8-6.
Brewton's seventh inning rally was really its lone offensive outburst of the game. Brewton scored four runs in the top of the first inning, but benefited from three wild pitches on strikeouts by Monroeville hurler Todd Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick also hurt himself with back-to-back bases loaded walks to Derek Busby and Bobby Freeman.
Brewton's 4-0 lead was shaved in half in the bottom half of the first inning. Kilpatrick and Austin Bohannon both singled to set up an RBI groundout by Alex Duit and an RBI single by Phillip McKinley off Brewton starting hurler James Freeman.
Monroeville pulled even at four-all in the bottom of the third inning when Bohannon singled and both Duit and Taylor Crutchfield both walked. A throwing error on a pickoff play allowed Bohannon to score and a wild pitch sent Duit home with the tying run.
Brewton was able to briefly snap that deadlock in the top of the fourth inning. Holland walked, but was forced out on a ball hit by Griffin. A groundout by Jake Smith put him in scoring position and that allowed him to score when Aaron Nelson stroked an RBI single that put Brewton up 5-4.
Monroeville got that run back plus one more in the bottom half of the fourth. Kilpatrick singled, stole second and scored on a game-tying double by Bohannon.
After a walk to Duit ended James Freeman's day on the mound, twin brother Bobby Freeman looked as if he might be able to keep the game tied. Bobby Freeman fanned Crutchfield for the second out of the inning, but two errors on one play on a ball hit by Phillip McKinley scored Bohannon and put Monroeville up 6-5.
Bobby Freeman pitched three and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief and struck out seven to pick up the win.
The win sent Brewton into Tuesday's championship round where its opponent (Atmore) would have to beat Brewton twice in order to claim the title.
A Brewton win Tuesday would send it to the Area Tournament at L.B. Wallace College in Andalusia where it will face Covington County Friday at 8 p.m.
Brewton 400 100 3 – 8 13 5
Monroeville 202 200 0 – 6 9 1