Brewton 15s in early hole at area tourney
By By BRUCE HIXON-Sports Editor
When asked what was his biggest concern about his team headed into the Area Tournament, Brewton Babe Ruth 15-year-old all-stars coach John Nelson did not take long to answer.
Friday's 3-1 loss to Covington County in the opening round of the Area Tournament played at L.B. Wallace College did little to ease those concerns.
Brewton batters were baffled most of the night by Covington County pitcher Josh Dozier, who scattered six hits and struck out 13.
Brewton starting pitcher Derek Busby along with relievers Seth Holland and Bobby Freeman only allowed three hits, but fell victim to 10 free passes (eight walks and two hit batters) as well as two key errors.
Covington County pushed across its first run in the bottom of the second inning when Gary Reese reached on an error, Jared Martin was hit by a pitch and Ross Martin singled to load the bases. Garrett Robard then walked to force home Reese.
Covington County picked up its second unearned run of the game in the fifth against Holland when Dozier reached on an infield error, went to third on two wild pitches and scored on a groundout by Reese.
Brewton's deficit grew to 3-0 in the sixth when Seth Kensaw walked, went to second on a passed ball, went to third on an infield single by Tyler Patterson and scored on a wild pitch.
Four of Brewton's six hits against Dozier came in the last two innings, but it was not until the top of the seventh when Brewton finally broke through.
With one out James Hamric walked. Bobby Freeman hit into a fielder's choice for the second out, but Freeman stole second and scored on an RBI single by Holland. Will Waters followed with an RBI single and then stole second. With the tying runs in scoring position, Dozier fanned Chris Griffin to end the game.
The loss sends Brewton to the elimination bracket where it will face Saturday's Andalusia/Covington County loser at 10 a.m.
Brewton 000 000 0 – 1 6 3
Covington Co. 010 011 X – 3 3 1
Brewton wrapped up the District 7 championship Tuesday when it blanked Atmore 7-0 at T.R. Miller High School.
Pitcher James Hamric tossed a complete game three-hit shutout to lead Brewton. Hamric got even more dominant as the game went along, as he retired the final 11 batters he faced and 14 of the last 15.
Hamric's dominating performance was just part of what was Brewton's best all-around game of the tournament. Brewton had to win its first two games against Atmore and Monroeville in its final at bat after it squandered four-run leads.
Brewton's offense was able to peck away at Atmore starting pitcher Skyler Peacock throughout most of the game.
Brewton plated the only run it would need in the top of the first inning when Seth Holland singled, stole second and scored on a single by Chris Griffin, who had the game-winning RBI in all three Brewton wins in the tournament.
Brewton extended that lead by a couple of runs in the top of the second inning. Will Waters walked, James Freeman was hit by a pitch and Bobby Freeman singled to load the bases. That set up an RBI infield single by Holland and an RBI groundout by Hamric to make it 3-0.
The tournament host tacked on another run to its lead in the top of the third when Jake Smith singled, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on James Freeman's RBI groundout to push the lead up to 4-0.
Brewton got an unearned run in the top of the fifth when Smith was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on Aaron Nelson's groundout and scored when Waters' infielder grounder rolled between the Atmore second baseman and shortstop for an error to make it 5-0.
Two more Brewton runs crossed the plate in the top of the seventh inning against Atmore reliever Lawrence Thomas. Tyler Brown reached on an error, Smith was hit by a pitch and Jake Dixon and Waters delivered RBI singles that accounted for the final margin.
Brewton 121 010 2 – 7 9 0
Atmore 000 000 0 – 0 3 2