11s hit end of the road
Published 6:05 am Wednesday, July 19, 2006
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Huntsville, Phenix City knock Brewton out of state tournament field
It would be easy to point at Phenix City's seven-run third inning as the decisive blow in Monday's 8-1 victory over Brewton in the elimination bracket of the Little League 11-year-olds state tournament played at Mobile.
Brewton coach David Maddox took another viewpoint.
Although Brewton was outscored 17-5 and outhit 20-11 in its two games at state, Maddox said his players should not be disappointed.
Brewton's defense did its part to provide an early spark in the top of the first inning. Phenix City's Mark Skinner singled with two outs and stole second. Ulysses Fluellen lined a single into centerfield, but Brewton's Ryan Hunt threw a perfect strike to the plate where catcher Jacob Fillmore tagged out Skinner.
While that play kept the game scoreless at that point, Brewton was unable to break through on the offensive side. Brewton stranded runners at first and
second in the first inning and wasted a leadoff walk in the second.
While Brewton pitcher Wesley Maddox dodged a couple of jams in the first two innings, he was not as fortunate in the third inning.
Phenix City strung together four hits, three walks, a Brewton throwing error and three run-scoring wild pitches to put a seven spot on the scoreboard. Phenix City also stole five bases. One of those was a theft of home by Austin Whitlock on the front end of a double steal.
Brewton managed just an infield single by Maddox in the first two innings against Phenix City pitcher Chad Osborne. It fared little better over the final four innings against reliever Ian Cook.
Two of Brewton's five hits in the game came in the bottom of the third inning when a single by Cody Smith, a double by Maddox and an RBI groundout by Kevin Davis produced Brewton's lone run.
Phenix City stretched its lead to 8-1 with its final marker in the top of the sixth on a double by Whitlock, a throwing error on the play and a sacrifice fly by Skinner.
Phenix City 007 001 - 8 10 0
Brewton 001 000 - 1 5 4
Brewton fell victim to a huge late rally by Huntsville over the last two innings in a 9-4 setback in Saturday's opening round.
Brewton seemed to be in firm control most of the game. Brewton had a three-run lead after three innings and still had a 4-2 edge with two outs in the top of the fifth.
Huntsville turned the game in its favor with five two-out hits in that fifth inning. Those hits along with a walk squeezed in the middle led to a three-run rally that put Huntsville on top 5-4. Huntsville pulled away in the top of the sixth when it took advantage of a Brewton error and two fielder's choices where no outs were recorded to score five runs.
Brewton used some muscle to build its lead. Rob Stokes beat out an infield single and Sam Smith belted a pitch over the centerfield wall for a two-run homer off Huntsville hurler Nic Light in the bottom of the second inning that gave Brewton a 2-0 lead.
After Huntsville trimmed that lead in half with a run in the top of the third, Brewton got another longball in the bottom half of the inning. Cody Smith beat out an infield single and moved up a base on a wild pitch. Brewton pitcher Kevin Davis helped his own cause when he blasted a pitch over the wall that took the lead up to 4-1.
Davis' homerun was just part of what looked to be a huge day for the Brewton hurler. Davis set down the first seven Huntsville batters he faced, three of which were by strikeouts.
Light broke up Davis' perfect game with an infield hit with one out in the bottom of the third. Davis lost his shutout moments later when a throwing error, an infield single by Ryan Moore and a wild pitch got Huntsville on the board.
Davis, who struck out 10, got out of a huge jam relatively unscathed in the top of the fourth. Huntsville loaded the bases with nobody out, but Davis struck out Jay Bonner and Hunter Whitaker. A wild pitch allowed the lead runner to score and trimmed Brewton's lead to 4-2, but Davis prevented any further damage when he got Light to fly out.
Davis appeared he would cruise through the fifth inning when he retired the first two batters, but three straight singles, a run-scoring wild pitch and RBI singles by Bonner and Whitaker gave Huntsville a 5-4 lead it would not relinquish.
While Brewton had the two homeruns, the rest of its offense was held in check most of the day. A couple of exceptions came in the bottom of the first inning when Jacob Fillmore was stranded at second base after a one out double and the fourth where a single by Ryan Hunt and a walk to Brett Smith went for naught.
Huntsville 001 134 - 9 10 0
Brewton 022 000 - 4 6 2