Red Level rallies by Florala, takes fourth straight county 16U baseball championship

Published 2:45 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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Red Level claimed its fourth consecutive Covington County 16U Boys Babe Ruth championship with a 3-1 win over Florala at LBW Community College on Tuesday, July 2.

Noah Bryan delivers a pitch to the plate for the Florala Wildcats. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Red Level Head Coach Jed Blackwell was proud of his team for collecting the victory.

“It was a very well played quality game by both teams on a very hot but otherwise gorgeous afternoon for baseball. Congratulations to both teams for their hard work and dedication to the sport they love,” Blackwell said.

Florala’s Easton Walsh took the mound in the opening frame and retired the first three Red Level batters in order. Red Level’s Brock Skipper also sat down the first three Florala batters and kept the game scoreless after an inning.

After the Tigers went scoreless in the top of the second, the Wildcats scored the first run of the game in their half. Gunner Taylor hit an RBI single and scored Jacob Laura for a 1-0 lead. Neither team scored in the third as the action moved to the fourth.

Buddy Griffin delivered a single in the top of the fourth, and Grayson Hodges reached on an error. After Skipper advanced both runners into scoring position, Griffin scored the tying run on a passed ball. Hodges then came home on a fielder’s choice and gave Red Level a one-run lead. Skipper held Florala off the scoreboard as the score stayed 2-1 following a scoreless fifth from both sides.

Connor Blackwell ripped a leadoff triple in the right field corner in the top of the sixth and scored on a wild pitch. The Tigers maintained their 3-1 lead over the Wildcats after six and a half innings.

Easton Walsh opened the bottom of the seventh with a single for Florala before Skipper induced two fly outs. Laura kept the game alive with a single and put runners at the corners. Red Level held on when Ayden Brooks hit a long fly ball to center and ended the game.

Skipper pitched all seven innings and struck out five with no earned runs allowed. Walsh pitched six innings and struck out 14 with no earned runs allowed.

Red Level was led by Blackwell and assistant coaches Kyle Nolen and Tracy Simmons. Team members include Connor Blackwell, Buddy Griffin, Brock Skipper, Grayson Hodges, Tanner Whatley, Wyatt Simmons, Jonathan Nolen, Landen Jernigan, Brayson Ward, Eli Davis, and William Carpenter.

Florala was led by head coach Mike Walsh. Team members include Easton Walsh, Noah Bryan, Jacob Laura, Aaron Jackson, Ayden Brooks, Ben Cox, Carson Watkins, Dawson Reeves, Greyson West, Gunner Taylor, Jamsison Jackson, Nathan Cook, Seth Danner, and Tucker Raef.