Long road home

Published 5:17 am Wednesday, July 12, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Many wondered what kind of impact the small dimensions of the Monroeville Youth League Field would have on the Babe Ruth 14 and 15-year-olds district tournaments.
That question was answered when Deke Bettis launched a walk-off, game-winning three-run homer that gave Monroeville a stunning 11-9, eight-inning victory over Brewton in the 15-year-olds championship game Sunday night.
Bettis' game-winning homer capped off a wild string of events over the last two innings.
Monroeville thought it had a 7-6 victory when Brewton's Houston Simmons struck out for the apparent third out in the top of the seventh. As Simmons started to walk back to the dugout, he noticed the ball skip by Monroeville catcher Cody Philen. Simmons not only reached safely on the wild pitch and kept the game alive, it enabled John Mathieu to dash home from third base with the tying run.
Brewton had a couple more breaks go its way in the top of the eighth inning when it plated what it hoped to be the two runs it needed to claim the title.
First, Corey Williams lined a shot down the leftfield line that landed inches fair. Williams, who got a double out of the play, scored one batter later when Aaron Nelson reached on a throwing error.
A single by Tyler Nall and an RBI fielder's choice by Sam Sharpe provided an insurance run that extended Brewton's lead to 9-7.
Sharpe had also helped Brewton on the mound where he had thrown two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief headed into the bottom of the eighth.
The door opened for Monroeville when Phillip McKinley walked, Monroeville's eighth walk of the game. The tying run reached base when Cody Philen singled. Forest Smith forced Philen out on a fielder's choice, but he moved into scoring position when he stole second base. Denzil Dees reached on a throwing error that allowed McKinley to score and cut the gap to 9-8. Bettis then connected on his three-run shot that gave Monroeville a sweep of all three Babe Ruth district championships. Monroeville had also won the 13- and 14-year-old tournaments over the previous eight days.
The finale Sunday night was Brewton's fourth game in just 24 hours. Brewton forced the decisive game earlier Sunday when it dealt Monroeville its first loss of the tournament by a 7-2 decision. Brewton won two elimination games Saturday, both by on run, when it edged Atmore 3-2 and South Monroe 6-5.
Monroeville was in position to close out the tournament in the first game Sunday, as it had a 2-1 lead headed into the bottom of the fourth.
Walks to Tyler Nall and Tyler Brown set the table for an RBI double by Jacob Cannon, an RBI groundout by Tyler Cross and an RBI single by John Mathieu that gave Brewton a 4-2 lead.
Brewton tacked three more runs to that lead in the fifth when an RBI single by Nall, a sacrifice fly by Cannon and a run-scoring wild pitch upped the advantage to 7-2.
Mathieu hurled a complete game four-hitter with eight strikeouts to get the win.
Game one
Monroeville 001 100 0 - 2 4 0
Brewton 100 330 X - 7 4 2
Game two
Brewton 011 102 22 – 9 14 2
Monroeville 041 020 04 - 11 11 2
Saturday's games
Brewton 3, Atmore 2
Brewton managed just four hits, but stayed a live thanks a to a combined two-hitter from William Shell, Justin Payne and James Hamric.
Despite its lack of hits, 11 walks gave Atmore plenty of chances. Atmore stranded at least one runner in every inning and a dozen runners for the game.
Corey Williams belted a solo homerun in the bottom of the first inning, but Atmore got an RBI single from Jamuris Curry in the top of the second inning that tied the game at 1-1.
Pinch-hitter Tyler Nall gave Brewton the blow it needed in the bottom of the fourth when he crushed a two-run homer after Jacob Cannon had been hit by a pitch one batter earlier.
Shell struck out eight during his five-inning stint to get the win. Hamric got the last three outs in the seventh for a save.
At Monroeville
Atmore 010 001 0 - 2 2 1
Brewton 100 200 X - 3 4 1
Brewton 6, South Monroe 5
Williams followed up his homerun in Saturday's first game against Atmore with two more extra base hits, both doubles, against South Monroe.
Williams' first two-bagger drove home Houston Simmons in the bottom of the fourth inning and snapped what had been a 1-1 deadlock. Williams also added another RBI double in the fifth when Brewton tacked on two more runs and ran its lead to 5-1.
Brewton hurler Tyler Brown appeared to be on cruise control headed into the top of the seventh inning. Brown had set down 13 of the previous 15 hitters he had faced headed into the seventh inning.
That all changed when an error and two singles loaded the bases for South Monroe with nobody out. South Monroe cleanup batter Josh Chavis, who had been 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, picked the right time to connect with a grand slam homerun that tied the game at 5-5.
Brewton avoided extra innings in the bottom of the seventh. Cannon was hit by a pitch with one out and stole second. He was able to score when John Mathieu's infield single was thrown into rightfield.
Hamric worked the final two thirds of the seventh inning to get the win.
At Monroeville
S. Monroe 010 000 4 - 5 10 5
Brewton 100 022 1 - 6 8 3

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