Bound for state|9-10s withstand pressure
Published 7:38 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2009
By By Adam Robinson
If the 9-10 Brewton Little League All-Stars felt any pressure Friday night in the District 5 championship game, you couldn’t tell before the game. Even after losing the first game of the championship round to Covington County on Thursday night (9-6), Brewton still seemed poised to reach the goal it had set five weeks prior.
Reflecting the calm, cool and collected demeanor of starting pitcher Drew Williamson, the 2009 edition of the Brewton 9-10 All-Stars accomplished something that hasn’t been done in five years — they won the District 5 championship and a berth in the Alabama Little League State Tournament.
They did so by pounding out 15 hits, applying the pressure early and often, and finally putting Covington County away with a breath-taking final out catch by outfielder Stokes Jennings to preserve the 13-8 championship win. In between, Williamson was brilliant on the mound, pitching 5 1/3 innings striking out five, giving up just six hits and walking one.
Of the potent offensive support he got from his teammates, Jordan Williams (two doubles), Joshua Winton (double) and Caleb Winton (two doubles) each had three hits, combined for five doubles and registered 11 of their team’s RBIs.
The celebration that followed culminated a dream that started as an idea in the mind of Brewton coach Randy Winton back in April.
During a walk around the YMCA Sports Park Field, Winton read the district championship signs that adorn the left-field fence and realized the last time a 9-10 team won the district title was 2004. That’s when the idea first came to his mind: The blank area on the fence needed to be filled by another championship sign, thus the idea of “Fill the Spot”.
Next up for Brewton is its trip to Mobile to take on the Huntsville-area District champion, with the two meeting in this Saturday’s opening-round game at 5:30 p.m.
After Covington County played a great game in the championship to win its own 9-6 match up to force Friday’s deciding game, Brewton approached the contest like every other game: do the little things well, put the ball in play and throw strikes and the game will take care of itself.
Williamson obviously took care of the pitching, the offense obviously put the ball in play with its 15 hits and the defense obviously made most of the easy plays—all adding up to Brewton obviously reaching its goal of district title and the state tournament.
Even when Covington County took a 3-0 first-inning lead, then held a 7-5 advantage after its fourth at-bat, Brewton never flinched. Instead, it bowed its neck, and tallied seven runs over the final two frames to seal the deal.
After the initial Covington barrage, Brewton countered with five straight hits (Williamson, Lane Clark, Hunter Brittain, Williams and Joshua Winton) to start the bottom of the first to take the lead at 4-3. Once the visitors claimed its 7-5 lead, once again the Brewton squad mounted a charge that included another string of hits (Brittain, Williams, J. Winton, C. Winton) that gave them the lead for good.
In those pivotal innings where Brewton scored three in the fourth and four more in the fifth, six hits, including three doubles, proved the difference.
Over those two innings, Williams, who finished the tournament 13-for-17 at the plate, had a double and single, and both J. Winton and C. Winton doubled in two runs apiece.
For his part, Williamson was equally potent on the mound over the final two innings.
In the fifth, Williamson faced the meat of Covington’s lineup only to set it down in order with a pair of strikeouts and a ground out. Then, in the sixth he gave way to Williams, leading up to Jennings’ incredible catch to end it.
Brittain finished with two hits and scored three times for the winners, while Clark also contributed a pair of hits and scored twice.