Published 6:52 pm Monday, May 21, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
It may not have been a case where the Braves could not keep up with the Joneses, but they were unable to keep up with Royals catcher Chris Jones.
Jones was a perfect four-for-four at the plate with a pair of singles and a pair of doubles to go along with four runs scored to lead the Royals to a 13-7 win in Thursday's play-in game of the Little League Age 9-10 City Series Tournament.
The win sends the Royals into Monday's opening round of the City Series at East Brewton where they will take on the third-seeded East Brewton Cubs at 7:30 p.m. Monday's first game, which starts at 5:30 p.m., pits the fourth-seeded Brewton Mariners against the fifth-seeded East Brewton Braves.
Both the Royals and Braves scored in every at-bat in the four-inning game, but it was the four-run frames the Royals put up on the scoreboard in the second and third innings that proved to be the difference.
The Royals grabbed the lead with a three-run rally in the top of the first inning and never relinquished it. Jones began his big night with a double, Tyler Reid reached on an error and Trin Miller delivered an RBI single. Ethan Tyree made it 2-0 with an RBI groundout. After Josh Bailey was hit by a pitch, Christian Carlson reached on an error. The miscue allowed Miller to score the third run of the inning.
The Braves got two of those runs back in the bottom of the first inning on RBI singles by Lucas Agerton and Austin Holmes.
Four straight hits by the Royals led to four runs in the top of the second and knocked the lead up to 7-2. Singles by Jones and Reid set up an RBI single by Miller. Tyree followed with possibly the biggest hit of the game, a three-run homerun.
An RBI single by Larry Cheatham in the bottom of the second brought the Braves to within 7-3, but the Royals pulled even farther ahead with another four-run rally in the top of the third. Brandon Ingram singled in front of an RBI double by Jones. Reid walked in front of an RBI fielder's choice by Miller. Miller later scored on a wild pitch, while Tyree, who reached on an error, scored on a throwing error on a ball hit by Bailey to make it 11-3.
The Braves narrowed the gap to 11-4 in the bottom of the third when Duncan Brittian singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Jones capped off his big game in the top of the fourth. Jones followed a walk to Cameron Elsey with a single that was misplayed and allowed both runners to score to make it 13-4.
After the Royals got three solid innings from Reid, who struck out three and allowed four hits, the Braves got to the Royals bullpen for three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Agerton picked up his second RBI single of the game and Brittian capped off the scoring with a two-run single.