Carolina on their minds: Brewton 16-18s earn state title, regional berth
Published 3:10 am Wednesday, July 18, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
There is “Nothing finer than to be in Carolina” for the Brewton Advanced Babe Ruth Age 16-18 All-Stars.
Brewton will represent Alabama at this week's Southeast Regional to be played at Tarboro, N.C. as its state champion. Brewton earned that elite distinction Sunday when it downed Gulf Coast 16-7 to win the Alabama state tournament held at T.R. Miller High School.
Brewton won the state championship in the program's first year of competition.
Offense played a huge role in Brewton's championship. Brewton scored at least nine runs in each of its three wins against Covington County (9-7), Atmore (10-4) and Gulf Coast.
Brewton overcame its largest deficit of the tournament, four runs, against Gulf Coast. It also endured its second rain delay in as many days. Brewton trailed 6-2 in the bottom of the second inning when Mother Nature stopped play for about an hour and a half.
Brewton had plenty of scoring opportunities through its 12 hits, seven walks, five hit batsmen and five errors by the Gulf Coast defense.
A two-run single by Becker Denton, who had three hits, a walk and five RBIs for the day, gave Brewton a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Gulf Coast responded with a six-run rally off Brewton pitcher Josey Brown in the top of the second inning that was played in rain and swirling winds.
Those winds played havoc with the Brewton defense, as it committed two errors on wind-blown balls. Gulf Coast also got a two-run single by J.T. Krist, an RBI single by Chris Boyington, an RBI double by Kenny Kiser and a two-run single by Chad Rabun.
Brewton came back from the rain delay with a four-run rally in the bottom of the second that tied the game.
Josh Sawyer walked, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on a throwing error on the play.
Holland walked, stole second and went to third on a throwing error. Smith was hit by a pitch to set up an RBI single by Jackson. Denton's RBI single plated Smith while Jackson scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 6-6.
Brewton took control of the game in the third inning when it sent 10 batters to the plate and scored six runs to go up 12-6.
Brown singled and Sawyer reached on an error. Williams hit into a fielder's choice, but a wild pitch got Sawyer home. A walk to Holland and another wild pitch brought in Williams. Smith was hit by a pitch for the third straight inning to set up an RBI single by Jackson. Will Waters kept things going with a single and Denton followed with a two-run double. Waters stole third and scored the final run of the frame on a throwing error.
Brewton stretched that lead to 13-6 in the fourth without the aid of a hit when Sawyer walked, was sacrificed to second by Williams, stole third and scored on a groundout by Holland.
Gulf Coast ended a string of 11 unanswered runs by Brewton in the top of the fifth when a pair of walks to Rabun and Billy Roulett set up an RBI groundout by T.J. Tolbert that trimmed Brewton's cushion to 13-7.
Brewton got a two-run double by Sawyer, who later stole third and scored on a throwing error, in the bottom of the fifth when it ran its lead to 16-7.
Outside of the one inning when he was nicked for six runs and five hits in deteriorating weather conditions, Brown was nearly untouchable in a complete game effort.
Brown allowed just one run on three hits with four strikeouts in the other six frames.
Competition at the Southeast Regional gets underway Friday.
Gulf Coast 060 001 0 – 7 8 5
Brewton 246 130 X - 16 12 3
Brewton 10, Atmore 4
Brewton survived a three-hour rain delay, as it zipped past Atmore 10-4 in Saturday's semifinal game.
Brewton nearly won the game on the 10-run rule. It was up 10-0 with one out in the bottom of the fifth when back-to-back singles by Cody Norton and Cody Vickrey and a run-scoring wild pitch got Atmore on the board. Vickrey's single was the first hit allowed by Brewton pitcher Derek Busby, who had faced just two batters above the minimum headed into the fifth.
A walk to Tyler Brown followed by two errors by the Brewton defense led to two more runs and cut the gap to 10-3.
Rain stopped play midway through the sixth inning before Brewton relievers Allen Williams and Josey Brown shut the door.
Brewton jumped on Atmore starting pitcher Tyler Brown for two runs in both the first and second innings.
Williams began a four-hit day with a leadoff single in the first. Seth Holland reached on an infield error and Jake Smith was hit by a pitch to fill the bases. Mackie Jackson grounded out, but the play got Williams home. Holland scored moments later on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.
Busby began the second inning rally with a one-out single, while Josh Sawyer walked. A pair of wild pitches plated Busby and a sacrifice fly by Williams scored Sawyer to make it 4-0.
Brewton broke the game open with a six-run uprising in the third.
Jackson singled, Waters was hit by a pitch and both scored when Becker Denton greeted Atmore reliever Cody Vickrey with a single that also included an error on the play.
Christopher Griffin kept the rally going with an infield single and Busby beat out a bunt single that also scored Denton to make it 7-0.
Williams followed with an RBI single and Holland stroked a two-run single that completed the 10-0 advantage.
Brewton 226 000 0 – 10 14 3
Atmore 000 030 1 – 4 3 4