Stage set for state championship
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The stage is set for the 2015 Cal Ripken 12U state championship, as the Covington County All-Stars and the Opp All-Stars prepare to battle to see who will take home the championship trophy.
COVINGTON COUNTY 1, CHILDERSBURG 0
For the second straight night, Covington County and Childersburg matched up in a 1-0 pitcher’s duel, and for the second straight night Covington County proved to have the motivation to win a tight game.
Aden Amis took the hill for the Covington County All-Stars, and with the exception of one inning, Childersburg never even sniffed at a run.
Amis began the game with a strikeout and fly out before giving up a single to his pitching counterpart, but Amis wasn’t fazed as he struck out the next batter for the third out.
In the bottom of the first, Jake Wilson led off with a single, but two strikeouts and a fly out set the tone early and showed that runs would likely be at a premium.
Amis picked up his third strikeout to start the top of the second inning, and then two straight groundouts to second ended the inning.
In Covington County’s half of the second, two strikeouts and a groundout to second ended the inning as the two pitchers were matching each other pitch for pitch.
Once again in the top of the third, Amis started the inning off with a strikeout, as he continued to look strong on the mound. The second out came on a ground ball back to Amis, which he strolled over to first and tag the bag himself. Amis retired the side with his fifth strikeout of the game.
After a quick groundout to first to start the bottom of the third inning, Braxton Lee stepped in beat out a throw to first for an infield single for the first Covington County hit of the contest.
Wilson followed with an infield single of his own. Amis followed with a pop up to second, but Lee was playing smart baseball and saw a chance to tag up and got himself to third base with two outs.
Gabe Dunn then ripped a single in left that scored Lee easily from third. Wilson flew around the bases, but was called out sliding into home on a close play to end the inning.
Amis continued his trend of striking out the leadoff batter as he began the top of the fourth inning on the mound, and got the next two batters out on a lineout and a groundout.
In the top of the fifth, Amis ran into a little trouble after hitting the first two batters of the inning, and then giving up a single to load the bases with no outs in the inning.
With no outs and the bases loaded, Amis had his back against the wall, but that didn’t faze the young hurler, who responded by striking out the next three batters to end the threat.
Amis continued to assert his dominance on the Childersburg batters in the top of the sixth, as he picked up his 10th and 11th strikeouts of the game to start the inning. He got the next batter hit a ground ball back to the mound, which he turned into the final out of the game.
“That was a good team,” Covington County coach Jeff Jeter said. “I’m proud of the way our guys battled. This was two good baseball teams, and time you have games like that you are glad to get a win. We have had some good pitching the whole tournament, and Aden Amis continued that tonight.”
OPP 15, BUTLER 2
In the final game on Monday night, it didn’t take long for Opp to put the hammer down on Butler, as they won by the 10-run mercy rule in four innings.
Opp’s Trey Boutwell started the game on the mound, and struck out two batters in the opening frame.
Lane Ballard led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, and used his speed to steal second, third and then score on a passed ball to take an early 1-0 lead.
Payton Ellis and Jesse Coon followed with one-out walks, and Hal Smithart produced the first RBI of the game with single that plated Ellis.
Opp got one more run in the bottom of the first inning when Case Short drew a bases-loaded walk to put Opp up 3-0 early.
Boutwell remained strong on the mound in the top of the second, as he shutdown Butler with a groundout and two more strikeouts.
Brady James started off the bottom of the second by reaching on an error, and Ballard drew his second walk of the game. Both James and Ballard came around to score on a passed ball to make the score 5-0.
Ellis and Coon followed by drawing their second walks of the game, and Smithart delivered with his second RBI of the game as he ripped a double to the fence that plated Coon.
Smithart would later come around to score on a single from Chandler Pyron to give Opp a 7-0 lead after two innings of play.
In the top of the third, Boutwell picked up two more strikeouts to bring his total up to six through three innings.
Opp broke the game wide open in the bottom of the third, scoring eight runs to take a 15-0 lead.
Opp started the inning with three straight walks to Thomas Glisson, Jackson Pierce and Lane Ballard before Boutwell ripped a two-run double into center for a 9-0 lead.
Two batters later, Coon stepped in and hit a mammoth three-run home run over the fence in left to give Opp a 12-0 lead.
Wyatt Horn drove in Smithart a few batters later to go up 13-0, and Horn scored on a passed ball to make it 14-0. Ballard drew a bases-load walk to make the score 15-0.
Butler managed two runs in the top of the fourth inning, but it wasn’t enough to keep the game from being called by the mercy rule.