EB 11-12s fall a little short

Published 4:45 am Monday, July 10, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
It was not the distance or the number of hits that determined the outcome. If that were the case, East Brewton would now have its first district championship.
Instead it was the timeliness of hits that gave Covington County a 5-4 victory in Friday's decisive game of the Little League Age 11-12 district tournament played at Andalusia Friday.
The victory capped off a successful run of five straight elimination game victories for Covington County, which lost its first game of the tournament to Opp.
East Brewton outhomered Covington County 2-0 and outhit its opponent 8-6, but stranded 10 runners on base. East Brewton stranded at least one runner every inning and two runners in four of the frames.
The first five Covington County batters reached safely in the bottom of the first inning against East Brewton starting hurler Keith Bradley. The fourth of those, Zack Lunsford, provided a two-run single that gave Covington County a lead it never gave up.
East Brewton cut its 2-0 deficit in half in the top of the second inning. Hayden Cooper singled and Josh Thompkins walked to set up an RBI single by Bradley.
Covington County plated what proved to be three decisive runs in the bottom of the fourth when it stretched its lead to 5-1. Sidney Newby hit an RBI single, Colter Herrington walked with the bases full and Troy Grissett hit a sacrifice fly into foul territory.
East Brewton pecked away at that advantage in it last two at-bats. Reid Johnson tagged Covington County hurler Zack Lunsford for a solo homerun to lead off the fifth. Gray McGraw waked, went to third on a single by Logan Williamson and scored on a wild pitch later in the inning that narrowed the gap to 5-3.
Billie Strength led off the top of the sixth with a long homerun over the leftfield wall that brought East Brewton to within 5-4. Johnson represented the tying run when he walked with two out, but never got any farther.
At Andalusia
East Brewton 010 021 - 4 8 2
Covington Co. 200 30X - 5 6 1
Thursday's game
East Brewton missed a chance to close out the tournament Thursday when it dropped a 7-2 decision to Covington County in the opening round of the championship series.
Reid Johnson gave East Brewton a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when he belted a solo homerun, but other highlights were few and far between.
Zack Lunsford belted a
two-run homer off losing hurler Gary McGraw in the bottom half of the inning that put Covington County on top 2-1, a lead it did not surrender.
Covington County extended its advantage to 3-1 in the bottom of the third when Troy Nolen ripped an RBI double.
East Brewton's best chance to get back in the game came in the top of the fourth. Johnson came up with his second extra base hit of the game when he led off the frame with a double. After McGraw singled him to third, Logan Williamson hit a sacrifice fly that plated Johnson and trimmed Covington County's lead to just 3-2.
East Brewton managed just an infield single by Keith Bradley and two walks the rest of the way.
At Andalusia
East Brewton 100 100 - 2 5 3
Covington Co. 201 40X - 7 9 0
Tuesday's game
East Brewton reached the championship round of the tournament Tuesday when it knocked off Opp 9-6.
Logan Williamson's two-run single in the top of the first inning plated Reid Johnson and Gary McGraw and gave East Brewton a lead it never relinquished.
East Brewton stretched that lead to 6-0 with a four-run uprising in the top of the third. Keith Bradley singled and moved up a base on a wild pitch. He later scored when a ball hit by Johnson was misplayed for an error. Gary McGraw and Williamson came through with RBI singles, while Austin Redash got another run in with an infield groundout.
Winning East Brewton pitcher Hayden Cooper sailed through the Opp lineup most of the game with six strikeouts. One of the few exceptions was the bottom of the third when Opp strung together four straight hits and trimmed East Brewton's lead to 6-2.
East Brewton tacked on what proved to be three important insurance runs in the top of the sixth that stretched its cushion up to 9-2. Josh Thompkins was hit by a pitch, Houston Pace walked and Bradley singled to load the bases. Johnson, McGraw and Williamson all walked in consecutive at-bats and forced in the three runs.
At Andalusia
East Brewton 204 003 - 9 7 4
Opp 002 004 - 6 7 3

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