Brewton 16-18s are double trouble
Published 2:42 am Monday, July 16, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Not every one of the Brewton Babe Ruth Age 16-18 All-Stars' hits was doubles. Just most of them.
Five of Brewton's seven hits went for two bases and all five came in the second and third innings. The extra muscle helped Brewton turn an early 3-0 deficit into an 8-3 lead en route to a 9-7 victory over Covington County in Thursday's opening round of the state tournament held at T.R. Miller High School.
Four of the doubles came in the bottom of the second inning when Brewton batted all the way through its lineup, scored four runs and took the lead for good.
Jake Smith started the two-base-hit parade with one-out, while Jake Hunsinger followed with a walk. Christopher Griffin got Brewton on the board when his RBI double off losing Covington County hurler Charlie Gordon narrowed the deficit to 3-1.
Hunsinger later scored on a wild pitch and Josh Sawyer's RBI double sent Griffin home and tied the game at 3-3. Allen Williams followed with his first of two doubles and three RBIs with a two-base hit that scored Sawyer and gave Brewton a 4-3 lead.
Brewton matched its four-run rally in the second inning in the third when it ran its lead to 8-3. Unlike the second inning where Brewton generated its rally at the plate, most of the third inning uprising was generated by Covington County defensive mistakes.
Mackie Jackson reached safely to start the frame when his groundball was misplayed by Covington County shortstop Josh Dozier. Jake Smith was hit by a pitch prior to an RBI single by Hunsinger that plated Jackson and upped Brewton's lead to 5-3.
The inning lost considerable steam when Griffin lined into a double play, but Jake Dixon reached safely on a throwing error by Covington County second baseman T.J. Fleming. The error allowed Hunsinger, who had just moved up a base on a wild pitch, to score and extend Brewton's lead to 6-3. Williams then came through with his second double in as many innings, a two-run shot that made it 8-3.
Bobby Fleming's three-run homer in the top of the fourth off Brewton starting hurler Mackie Jackson, who went the first four innings to get the win, got Covington County right back in the game and narrowed Brewton's lead to 8-6.
Brewton was able to get back some of its lost momentum in the bottom half of the fourth. Smith walked, went to second on a wild pitch and scored when Hunsinger reached on a throwing error by Covington County relief pitcher Sam Helms that upped the lead to 9-6.
Brewton relief pitcher Josey Brown pretty much shut the door on Covington County in his three innings of work. Brown, who struck out three and allowed two hits, was touched for an unearned run in the fifth when Charles Gunter singed. Dusty Barnes walked and scored when Sam Bush reached on an infield error with two outs in the inning.
The finish was a lot smoother for Brewton than the start. A walk, a single and an error on Tanner Carter's single led to a pair of Covington County runs in the top of the first inning. Josh Dozier's RBI single in the second inning widened that gap to 3-0.
The win sent Brewton into Saturday's semifinal round against Atmore, which edged Gulf Coast 7-6 in Friday's other first-round game. If Brewton won that game, it advanced to today's championship round, which gets underway at 3 p.m. If Brewton lost that contest, it had to win an elimination bracket game Saturday night to get to today's championship round where it must win twice.
The tournament winner advances to the southeast regional, which gets underway July 20 at Tarboro, N.C.
Covington Co. 210 310 0 - 7 7 3
Brewton 044 100 X - 9 7 5