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Brewton Little League sees close games

By Staff
from staff reports
For the teams playing Little League baseball Thursday night at the Sports Park, the name of the game was keeping pace.
In both the 9-10 and 11-12 divisions all three games played meant the difference in staying atop the league standings or taking a fall in them just before spring break. 
And, after some heart-pounding action, each age division enters the weeklong break with two-way ties for first place.
In 9-10, the Astros defeated previously unbeaten Braves, 11-8, while in the upper division, the Rockies defeated the Rangers (7-3) and the Brewers managed a come-from-behind 7-6 win over the Tigers to keep the two winners in a deadlock at the top of the standings.
Faced with a bases-loaded threat in a tight game, relief pitcher Micah Flores induced a two-out ground ball back to the mound to end the threat. In just over an inning of work, Flores struck out two.
Starting pitcher Daniel Blair got the win for the Astros (2-1, 2-2) with five strikeouts in just under three innings. 
Both Flores and Blair benefited from their battery mate Davis Wade, who threw out three would-be base stealers.
Flores (two runs scored) and Terrence Hall led the offensive punch with two hits each, while Wade and Blair also scored twice and Hayden Atkinson contributed a single.
For the Braves, (2-1, 2-2) Russell Smith struck out seven in just three innings of work, while Matthew Bradford added two in his one inning.
Both Smith and Ryan Hooks had inside-the-park home runs and Bradford singled and scored a run.  
In a game that saw five different lead changes, it finally took a four-run sixth inning and a dominating relief appearance from Christian Alverson to help the Brewers improve to 4-1 and keep pace with the 4-1 Rockies.
Alverson came in to relieve starter Ethan Tyree and promptly struck out five of seven batters, including three of the four he faced in the bottom of the sixth to seal the deal.
The Tigers got another impressive pitching effort from Will Smith, who was dominant in allowing just three hits over four innings and striking out six but he left with a no-decision.
He was equally as effective at the plate, getting two of his teams hits, drawing a walk and scoring three runs.
Ethan Bollenbacher added two hits – including a 3-run double – while Jordan Williams, Austin Holmes and Stokes Jennings added singles.
The Brewers got lone hits from Brooks Brown (2 runs scored), Tyler Hoomes, Alvarez (2-run double) and Baxter.  
ROCKIES 7, RANGERS 3
Rockies pitcher Christopher Gehman recorded the win with a pitching performance that ended with a two-hit, seven strikeout gem. The Rangers’ only two hits included a single from Grant Youngblood and a two-run home run from Landon Salter, his second of the season.
By contrast, the Rockies’ 9-hit attack included home runs by Kellyn Winn and Trippe Floyd.
Winn added a triple while Floyd was 3-for-3 and scored three times. Gehman helped his cause with two hits, while Alex Daughtery and River Johnson added hits and Jake Najor scored twice.
MARLINS 13,
With the tying run on second and two outs, Matt Smith stranded all runners when he struck out the last batter to secure the Marlins’ first victory of the year. Smith yielded just two hits, while striking out four for the winners (1-2).
The Marlins banged our seven hits, with Cameron Pope and Andrew Etheridge leading the way with 2-for-3 efforts at the plate.
Keshan Patel and Demonte Jenkins both earned two RBIs.