Childersburg wins decisive tiebreaker game against Elmore County, 13-3
by Erich Hilkert
CHILDERSBURG—The Childersburg Tigers hosted a pivotal doubleheader with area foe Elmore County and came away with the necessary win to give them a strong push toward the playoffs. The team dropped the first game 4-1, but crushed the Panthers 13-3 in the second game. Head coach Chad Slaten explained that the second game essentially served as a tiebreaker, which the team now holds over Elmore County. The win moves the team’s overall record to 26-4 and they remained 5-1 in area play with the aforementioned tiebreaker.

The team struggled at the plate in the first game, but it was a much different story in the second game.

“Like I told them after the first game, I didn’t think we played with a lot of intensity in the first game,” Slaten said. “I thought they out-wanted the ballgame more than we did and that doesn’t usually happen. Not here and not anywhere when our teams play. It’s hard to out-hustle and out-want the game more than us. I thought they did that the first game and that disappointed me. So, we talked about that and I thought they came out and immediately took control in the second game. So, I was really proud with how they bounced back in the second game.”

In the first game, starting pitcher Alex Bentley cruised through the first three innings by retiring all nine batters he faced, seven by way of strikeouts.

In the fourth inning, things began to unravel. He walked two batters back-to-back and allowed a bunt for a single before walking a run home. Bentley battled to strike out three consecutive batters with the bases loaded.

In the fifth inning, designated hitter Jackson Adams hit a perfectly timed home run to right field to push the score to 2-0 and that was all Elmore County needed for the win with the final ending up being 4-1.

Bentley was charged with the loss on the mound despite striking out 11 batters and only allowing two hits in five innings of work.

“I thought he pitched really good,” Slaten said of Bentley. “He had the one bad inning where he walked three and gave up a bunt for a base hit and that was the only bad inning. They didn’t hit him at all. I thought he pitched really good minus that one inning. We’re real pleased with how he’s throwing. He’s been throwing really good all year long, so we feel good about him when he’s on the mound.”

Zack Lightsey hit a double to deep center field and came in to score on a Peyton Logan double down the third base line for the team’s lone run in the game.

Childersburg got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first in the second game. The leadoff batter, Alex Bentley, hit a single into the gap between first and second base. During Reeves Brashear’s at-bat, Bentley stole second and third bases. Brashear hit a single into the gap in right-center field to score Bentley. Brashear’s courtesy runner, Tylan Coleman, came around to score on a double by Jamel Roston off the wall in right field to make it 2-0.

Elmore County came back to score a run in the second to make it 2-1.

Back-to-back doubles by Justin Baker and Will Donahoo brought Baker in to score. Childersburg then managed to add three more runs later in the inning with two outs. Zack Lightsey hit a single into center field. Elmore County starting pitcher Tommy Edwards proceeded to walk three consecutive batters to bring in two runs. Relief pitcher Devon Capell gave up a tapper to Walker Holmes, who reached base safely on an infield single and scored courtesy runner Tylan Coleman from third base for an RBI to give Childersburg a 6-1 lead.

Elmore County didn’t quit, scoring two runs in the top of the third inning.

Brashear gave Childersburg a huge boost with a grand slam into left field in the bottom of the third inning.

“He’s been swinging it really good,” Slaten said of Brashear. “We were in control of the game at that time but Elmore County, they’re scrappy. They weren’t going to go anywhere. They were going to keep on playing. So, when he hit the grand slam that really, really put us over the top. That put us up seven runs, so that was a real big at-bat.”

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jamel Roston singled to left field and later came around to score from third base on a wild pitch. Walker Holmes came around to score on a balk by relief pitcher Jacob Hall.

On the very first at-bat in the bottom of the fifth, Zack Lightsey hit a home run to right field to give Childersburg an early victory, 13-3.

Brashear earned the win on the mound for five innings of work while allowing three runs, three hits and striking out two batters. He finished two for two at the plate with a walk, one run scored, and five RBIs.

“I knew Reeves would throw strikes and give us a chance to win,” Slaten said. “I thought we swung the bats really, really good that second game. The biggest thing was we showed some intensity and some desire to play the game.”

Other standout hitters included: Jamel Roston, who went two for two with a walk, one run scored and had two RBIs; Zack Lightsey, who went two for three with a walk, had two runs scored and one RBI; and Walker Holmes, who went two for three with one run scored and one RBI.

Childersburg is scheduled to play at Dadeville Tuesday at 4 p.m.

© 2013