Brewton Indians and Diamondbacks come down to the wire in recent Cal Ripken games

Published 9:21 am Friday, April 29, 2011

As Cal Ripken baseball’s regular season passed the halfway point, the battle for positioning in the standings is as fierce as ever.
That was never more evident than this week in the 9-10 Division, where all three teams in the league still have a chance at the top spot; and that made for an exciting environment Monday night when the Indians and Diamondbacks gave the standing-room only crowd a great game to watch.
With a pitching duel that saw 26 strikeouts, it came down to a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning that made the difference in the Indians’ 5-4 win.
In an inter-league game, the Flomaton Canes edged the Cardinals, 11-8. In the 11-12 Division, the Orioles continued to place distance between them and the rest of the league, as they defeated the Phillies, 14-8.

In arguably the best game of the year in this division, Indian Miller Hart and D’Back Joseph Blackburn battled on the mound for the entire game before the Indians scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to win the game.
For Blackburn, who had never pitched more than two innings in a game this year, his complete-game two-hitter came with 14 strikeouts. Hart got the win for the Indians after striking out 12 en route to a five-hit complete-game performance that gave his team a one-game lead in the league standings.
The game remained tied at 1-1 through four innings, then both teams put two more runs on the board in the fifth to make it 3-3.First, D’Back Matt Smith cracked a two-out, two-run inside-the-park home run in the top of the fifth to make it 3-1 before the Indians benefited from five walks to score two runs of their own, setting up the late-inning fireworks.
The D’Backs took a 4-3 lead after their half of the sixth, when Kadarius Jenkins was plunked by a pitch with two outs. He eventually came all the way around on wild pitches, eventually scoring from third before Miller got the final out on a strikeout.
Then, in the bottom of the inning, Blake Jernigan led off with a walk. After a strikeout, Hart drew a walk as well. With the runners at first and second, Lyon Jernigan roped a double in the gap that scored his brother easily from second before Hart just beat the throw and the tag at the plate to score the winning run from first base.
Lyon Jernigan’s game-winning hit was his second of the game – his team’s only two hits. His first hit was an RBI single in the opening inning.
For the Diamondbacks, Smith’s home run followed his first-inning single to lead his team with two hits. Micah Flores, Landon Sims and Jenkins all had singles.

The unbeaten Canes withstood an early storm and scored two late insurance runs to claim the hard-fought victory.
The Cards put together a couple of innings (first and third) where they scored four runs in each that allowed them to pull to within 9-8 after the Canes had scored five in the first and four more in the second.
For the Cardinals, Kyle Blevins slapped a single and two-run double to lead his team. Both A.J. Walker and Drew Reed added two-run triples, while Landon Qualls an RBI single.

The Orioles continued their march by moving one step closer to the regular-season title with the win over the Phillies.
In doing so, the Orioles scored nine runs in the first inning on the strength of five hits, three walks and an error en route to the win. As the Phillies rallied with seven runs late to close to within 11-8, the Orioles tacked on three insurance runs in the fifth to steer clear for the victory.
Jumping out to the 9-1 lead early, The Orioles got a walk from leadoff hitter Jordan Williams, and back-to-back one-out hits from Stokes Jennings and Russell Smith to kickstart the onslaught. After a Jack Whitworth walk, Josh Gunter and Daniel Reed had back-to-back singles to make it 4-0. After a strikeout Kishon Patel singled in two more runs, before on error and a Hunter Brittain two-run single made it 9-0.
By the time the third inning came around the Orioles seemed in command with an 11-1 cushion before the Phillies began chipping away in hopes of a second-straight heart-stopping comeback win (they overcame two early deficits the week before to win a game).
Austin Holmes, O’Neil White, Tyler Baxter and Harrison Hughes all had singles in the fourth inning as the Phillies tallied five runs to cut the deficit to 11-6. Then in the fifth, the same four added hits while scoring two more runs to make it 11-8.
The Orioles finally put the final nail in the coffin when a walk to Patel and consecutive hits from Williams, Brittain, and Jennings, and another from Jake Whitworth made it 14-8.
Jennings and Gunter led the 15-hit attack for the Orioles with three singles apiece, while Williams, Brittain, Smith had two and Whitworth, Reed and Patel one apiece.
Drew Williamson led the Phillies with three hits, while Holmes, White, Baxter and Hughes had two apiece and Garrett Cave, Lane Clark and Daniel Blair had one hit each.