Comeback falls short as 16s bow out
Published 2:43 am Monday, July 16, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
They may have gone two and out at the state tournament, but the Brewton Advanced Babe Ruth 16-year-old All-Stars did not go down without a fight.
Down 11-0 to Covington County after just two and a half innings in Friday's elimination bracket game, Brewton's biggest obstacle in the early innings was avoiding losing by the 10-run rule on its home turf. Not only did Brewton avoid that dubious distinction, it nearly climbed all the way back before it fell 11-8.
Just about anything that could go wrong for Brewton did during those first two and a half innings where Covington County lashed out six extra base hits and Brewton committed four errors.
Covington County took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on Shane Turner's RBI single and Emory Rabren's RBI double off Brewton starting and losing hurler Sam Sharpe.
The game started to get away from Brewton in the top of the second when Covington County sent 10 batters to the plate, seven of which scored.
Cory Scott and Cale Nolan hit back to-back one-out doubles and Ethan King reached on a fielder's choice. Turner followed with a two-run triple and Josh Sutton added an RBI double. A walk to Emory Rabren set up the biggest blow of the game, a three-run homer by Matthew Bond that upped Covington County's lead to 9-0.
A two-out hit batsman followed by back-to-back errors by the Brewton defense led to two more Covington County runs in the top of the third and made it 11-0. Covington County pitcher Andrew Rabren had a no-hitter going until the top of the third when he suddenly lost command of his pitches. Rabren walked James Hamric and Sharpe before Tyler Brown broke up the no-hit bid with an RBI single. Rabren then hit both Corey Williams and Tyler Nall that forced in another run. It also ended Rabren's evening on the mound.
Covington County reliever Matthew Bond did not fare much better. Bond immediately unleashed a run-scoring wild pitch and was then touched by a two-run single by Jacob Cannon that narrowed the gap to 11-5. Jake Hodge later drove in another run with a sacrifice fly and suddenly the lead was down to 11-6.
Hamric was able to hold the Covington County bats in check with four innings of scoreless relief. Meanwhile Brewton's offense continued to whittle away at the deficit.
Hamric walked, went to third on two groundouts and scored when Williams reached on an error in the fourth to make it 11-7.
Brewton pulled to within 11-8 in the fifth when John Mathieu tripled and scored on Hodge's second sacrifice fly of the game.
Covington County reliever Cale Nolan did not let Brewton pull any closer over the final two innings. Nolan shut the door with two scoreless and hitless frames, which included four strikeouts.
Covington Co. 272 000 0 – 11 8 1
Brewton 006 110 0 – 8 3 4
Gulf Coast 13, Brewton 3
Brewton fell into the losers bracket when it dropped a 13-3 decision to Gulf Coast in Thursday's opening round.
A seven-run rally by Gulf Coast in the fourth inning when it sent 11 batters to the plate and lashed out seven hits proved to be decisive.
The teams had battled to a 2-2 deadlock prior to the key frame.
Brewton took its only lead in the game in the opening inning. Singles by Tyler Brown and Corey Williams along with a wild pitch set up an RBI groundout by Tyler Nall and an RBI double by Jacob Cannon.
Gulf Coast pulled even in the top of the second. Matt Gattis singled and went to third on a single by Brooks Bodinger. An error on a pickoff attempt at third base sailed into left field and allowed Gattis to score. One batter later Randall Hodges tied the game with an RBI single off Brewton pitcher William Shell, who went the first three and one-third innings.
Seven of the first eight Gulf Coast batters reached base safely in the top of the fourth against first Shell and then reliever James Hamric. RBI singles by Logan Kirkland and Jacob Hyde gave Gulf Coast a 4-2 lead it never relinquished. By the time the inning was over, Gulf Coast added a two-run single by Patrick McGraw, an RBI single by Joe Hernandez, a run on a wild pitch and an RBI triple by Bodinger that quickly took Gulf Coast's cushion up to 9-2.
Gulf Coast went up 10-2 in the sixth when Hernandez singled, went to third on an error on a pickoff attempt and scored on a groundout by Bodinger.
Brewton ended a string of 10 unanswered runs by Gulf Coast in the bottom of the sixth. Cannon singled and John Mathieu was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch sent Cannon to third and a balk got him home.
Gulf Coast tacked on three final runs in the seventh against Mathieu and Tyler Nall. Hernandez picked up his third hit of the game, a two-run double, and Gattis picked up his second hit of the game, an RBI single, that made it 13-3.
Gulf Coast 020 701 3 – 13 15 0
Brewton 200 001 0 – 3 8 5