Goal at state tournament still the same for Brewton 13s coach: win a game
Published 2:48 am Monday, July 16, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Randy Denton has been in this position before.
Three years ago Denton coached the Brewton Little League Age 9-10 All-Stars to a district title only to watch his team go two and out at the state tournament. The same thing happened the next summer when Denton coached the Brewton 10-11s.
Denton hopes to avoid the same scenario this year with the Brewton Babe Ruth 13-year-old All-Stars when state tournament competition gets underway Wednesday at Huntsville's Sandhurst Park.
Denton's team will have one advantage over his two previous squads in its attempt to achieve that quest. It will have a couple of extra opportunities.
Denton's two Little League squads competed in state tournaments that used a bracket format and teams were eliminated after the second loss. This year's Babe Ruth state tournament consists of two five-team pools and each squad is guaranteed four games. Brewton's games are Wednesday at 5 p.m., Thursday at 12 noon and 6:30 p.m. and Friday at 6:30 p.m. The top two teams from each pool will advance to next Sunday's semifinal round followed by the championship game.
Brewton earned its state berth two weeks ago when it ambushed three district tournament foes by the 10-run rule and a combined 36-2 margin.
While his team racked up 33 hits in its three district games, Denton said his team needs to hit better throughout the state tournament.
Brewton's state hopes may hinge with its pitching. Brewton's three starting pitchers at the district tournament, Joseph Strength, Gary McGraw and Keith Bradley, combined for 21 strikeouts with just three walks and four hits allowed in 13 innings of work. Strength and Bradley threw complete games and McGraw did not allow a hit in his three innings of work.
Brewton assistant coach Gary Clements backed up Denton's words about the importance of pitching. Clements was a coach on the Brewton Babe Ruth 15s that won a game at the 2003 state tournament and with the Brewton Babe Ruth 14s that won a game at the 2002 state tournament.