Brasher leads Fayetteville past B.B.Comer
by ERICH HILKERT
SYLACAUGA—Steve Brasher pitched five innings for Fayetteville, but it was his bat that propelled the Wolves to a 7-6 win over B.B. Comer Tuesday night at Sylacauga High School in the 2013 Talladega County Baseball Tournament.

“I’m very impressed with his pitching and hitting,” Fayetteville head coach Morris Phillips said of Brasher. “He’s stepped up for us as a junior this year and he threw pretty well. I’m pleased with it and timely hitting, came up with a big hit late in the game that we really needed.”

With the win, Fayetteville will play the loser of the Winterboro-Sylacauga game at 5:30 p.m.

Fayetteville, dressed in camo uniforms, got on the board in the top of the first inning. Slade Scroggins walked, then stole second base. The catcher tried to throw Scroggins out at third base, but made a throwing error that brought Scroggins home to make it 1-0.

Comer came right back in the bottom of the first to re-take the lead. Brasher walked Tristan Sims and Tyler Jackson. Caleb Duffee hit a grounder to third base to advance the runners. Tyler Holmes hit the ball to right field for a single that brought in two runs to give Comer a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the second, Fayetteville was able to tie it up. Hunter Garner led off the inning with a single. Levi Blanchard hit a grounder into the gap between second base and first base for a single. Ozzie Osbourn walked to load the bases. Austin Brasher hit a grounder to shortstop that resulted in a fielder’s choice out at first base, although Garner scored at home.

Neither team scored until Comer came up with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Brandon Knox hit a grounder to third base, but a high throw pulled the first baseman off the bag making Knox safe. Zach Osbourn hit a fly ball to right field, but the right fielder was unable to make the catch allowing Knox to score to make to give Comer a 3-2 lead.

Austin Brasher led off the fifth inning with a line drive into left field for a single. Zach McGrady followed that up with a single on a ball hit into the gap between the first baseman and the first base line. Brasher advanced to third base and when the right fielder threw to third base, McGrady was able to safely advance to second base. Slade Scroggins hit a line drive to center field for what was initially a single, but the center fielder tried to unsuccessfully throw the runner out at home which allowed Scroggins to advance to second base. Later in the inning, Jarrett Morris hit a fly ball to center field that was caught for an out, but was deep enough to allow McGrady to tag up and score from third base allowing Fayetteville to take a 4-3 lead.

Comer came right back in the bottom of the fifth. Sims looped a bloop single over the reach of the first baseman. Jackson followed that up with a single straight up the middle of the infield. Duffee walked to load the bases. Holmes also showed patience in taking a walk to bring a run home. Cory Harris flied out, but Knox followed that with a deep shot that bounced to the fence to score another run and give Comer a 5-4 lead.

The top of the sixth inning proved to be the decisive inning as Fayetteville scored three runs. Pennington led off with a single. Levi Blanchard hit a chopper to third base, but the third baseman couldn’t catch it and Blanchard reached on an error. Osbourn advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Austin Brasher made it to first base once again, this time through a walk. McGrady struck out, but Scroggins walked on four straight pitches to bring in a run and tie it at 5-5.

That’s when Steve Brasher let his bat do the damage to the Wolves, hitting a deep shot to center field that allowed two runs to score giving Fayetteville a 7-5 lead.

McGrady went from behind the plate to being the relief pitcher for the Wolves. He hit the first batter he faced, Dustin Sumners, but followed that up with a strikeout of Zach Osbourn. Sims hit the ball up the middle, but Sumners tried to go for third base where Steve Brasher was guarding the base like it was his last meal of the day. Sumners never stood a chance and was tagged out. However, Jackson followed that up with a hit into the gap between center field and right field that scored Sims to make it 7-6.

In the seventh inning, Blanchard misplayed a fly ball for an error, but after the miscue McGrady retired three batters in order to give Fayetteville the win.

“We’re a young team,” Phillips said. “I’m glad to see them battle and keep battling. When you get down, just battle back and don’t give up. It could have been easy to do, but they didn’t.”

© 2013