Covington County wins district title

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2003

Two wins against Andalusia were needed by the 14-year-old Covington County Babe Ruth All-Stars to clinch a district championship.

Covington County needed two wins out of the loser's bracket after suffering an opening-round loss to Andalusia in the district tournament.

It took a little longer than usual, but the Covington County All-Stars got the job done with an 11-10 victory against Andalusia in eight innings after about a two-hour rain delay Wednesday at Johnson Park.

Taylor Benton scored the winning run on an error when Dusty McDonnell hit a grounder to short with two outs and runners on first and third.

The Covington County players started the game with hot bats scoring four runs in the top of the first inning when Andalusia starting pitcher Johnny Jernigan walked the bases loaded. Devin Maloy had a two-RBI single in the inning to plate Rhett Dewrell and Kevin Meeks. Taylor Benton scored later in the inning on a passed ball. Maloy also scored on a passed ball.

Andalusia answered with two runs off Covington County starting pitcher Taylor Benton. MacKenzie Curry began the rally with a lead-off double down the third-base line. He scored when Michael Berry followed him in the order with an RBI-single. Berry moved to third on two stolen bases and scored on an RBI-single by Matt Mellown.

Andalusia took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Charles Gunter started off the bottom half of the inning with a double into left field. Jernigan knocked him in with an RBI-single. Jernigan then stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Atkins. Jernigan scored on an RBI-single by Curry with Curry going to second on a throw to the plate. Curry scored later in the inning on an RBI-single by Berry to give Andalusia a 5-4 lead.

Maloy scored in the top of the third for Covington County to knot the score at 5-5. Maloy reached base on a single, went to second when Dusty McDonnell drew a walk, advanced to third on a ground out by Sam Bush and scored on a passed ball.

Covington County re-took the lead in the top of the fifth inning when Josh Pettus, Andrew Odom, Rhett Dewrell and Kevin Meeks scored. Dewrell, Meeks and McDonnell had RBI-hits in the inning. Maloy plated a run on a sacrifice fly to center.

Meeks scored again for Covington County in the top of the sixth inning for a 10-5 lead. He reached base on a walk, stole second went to third when Maloy reached on an error and scored on McDonnell's sacrifice fly to center.

Andalusia responded with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to knot the score at 10-10.

Gunter started the Andalusia rally with a single and stole second. He moved to third on a balk. Cory Dukes reached on a walk and Westley Glisson came in as a pinch runner. Gunter scored when Chris Atkins grounded out. Glisson scored when Curry reached on an infield single. Curry stole second and scored later in the inning. Berry reached on an error in the inning, stole second and third and scored when the throw to third on his stolen base attempt ended up in left field. Kevin Peek then reached base on an error by the first baseman and came round to score the tying run when Josh Smithart reached on an error by the third baseman.

Andalusia scored five runs on two hits, a walk and four errors in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game up at 10-10.

Neither team scored in the seventh inning. Covington went on top 11-10 in the top of the eighth when Benton scored on an error by the Andalusia shortstop.

In the bottom of the eighth, Andalusia had a runner on third with one out and failed to score with Covington County holding on for an 11-10 win.

McDonnell pitched one inning and was the winning pitcher for Covington County.

Covington County topped Andalusia 3-1 Tuesday night to force the "if game" and get in position to win the district crown.

Dewrell was the winning pitch Tuesday night allowing one run on three hits and five walks while striking out 10.

Pettus gave Covington County a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when he scored.

Andalusia tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning when Peek scored after reaching on a fielder's choice.

Sam Bush reached on an error in the top of the fourth for Covington County and came around to score for a 2-1 lead. Meeks scored an insurance run in the top of the fifth with Covington County holding on for a 3-1 win.