Perfection denied

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The 15U Atmore All-Stars third baseman fires the ball to first base during the first of two games to determine the 2012 district championship Monday night in Atmore.

Coming into Monday’s games against Atmore in the 15-year-old district tournament, the Brewton All-Stars knew the task ahead of them was to win two games to clinch the championship.

After suffering a 3-2 loss to Atmore Friday in their tournament opener — a game that saw Brewton only have three total hits — Atmore came in with the upper hand needing only to win once to claim the championship.

The Brewton All-Stars put Friday’s loss behind them and came out and swept a doubleheader from Atmore by winning game one 15-0 in five innings and game two 14-2 to clinch the title. Brewton pounded out 17 combined hits in the win as they outscored Atmore 29-2 Monday night for the win.

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The Atmore All-Stars double defeat Monday came after a strong showing throughout the rest of the tournament. Their win Friday over Brewton, coupled with a 12-0 shut out victory over Evergreen on Saturday, kept them perfect coming into Monday’s championship, but did not give them the momentum to win their rematch with Brewton.

Brewton manager David Jennings, who is a veteran youth sports coach, said he was proud of the way his team responded Monday following the earlier loss to Atmore.

“We have coached this age group since they were 13-year-old All-Stars,” Jennings said. “We have been playing Atmore for three years and we have played them eight times and tonight was our fourth and fifth game wins in the eight-game series. All the games have been very competitive and it has been a pleasure playing them. They play hard and they are a well-coached and good baseball team.”

In game one, Brewton scored seven runs in the first inning to take an early lead on Atmore, something Jennings said helped lead to the victories.

“We came out tonight and started early and got the bats going,” he said. “That set the pace for us, but you worry because that first game got away from us pretty quick. You kind of worry about a lull going into that second game, but we were able to get out there and get started again and got the bats going. I have been doing this for 18 years and I have never seen a team hit the baseball like a good team like Atmore for five hours. I am very impressed with the group of guys. I am so proud of them.”

In game one Monday, Brewton used the combination of pitching and hitting to take down Atmore 15-0.

Brewton pounded out seven hits and held Atmore to four while scoring seven runs in the first inning and eight in the third to cruise to the win in five innings.

After forcing a second game Monday night, Brewton clinched the championship with a 14-2 win over Atmore.

Despite the losses in Monday’s double header, the Atmore All-Stars’ victories early in the tournament were enough to allow them to finish as the runners up and move on to the state tournament beginning Saturday in Satsuma.