Tournaments | Championship | 8/3/2020

Central Alabama Brewers Slug Way to Title

Colton Olinger        
Photo: CABA Brewers (Perfect Game)
HOOVER, Ala. - With a field of 17 teams competing in Hoover, Alabama this weekend it came down to three back and forth games in the semi-finals and championship rounds to crown a champion. One semi-final saw a talented TPL National 2023 Squad square off with a young Top Gun 14U Black that proved to be more than up to the challenge of playing up in the 15U division. The other semi-final game matched the hot bats of the Central Alabama Brewers up against the number one seed Top Gun 15U Black.

In the TPL National 2023 versus Top Gun 14U Black semi-final Aidan Bee got his club off to just the start they were looking for with a quick three-up-three down first inning displaying a fastball that sat 78-81 mph as he commanded to both sides of the plate. In the home half of the first inning TPL leadoff man Chase Williams set the table with a lead off-walk that would later turn into the first run of the game as TPL took advantage of some opportunities and Brady McAbee drove in the run with a quality at bat. After each team was held scoreless in the second inning TPL added a run in the bottom of the third stretching the lead to 2-0. Mac Bowman got things started in the bottom third with a lead of line drive to center field Top Gun refused to go away though as they battled back in the top of the fourth with two runs of their own to tie the game at 2-2. Top Gun got key hits from Kamoryn Strickland and John Robicheaux. After the fourth inning both starting pitchers’ shutdown the offenses for the next few innings keeping the game tied at two as we went to extra innings. TPL starter Aidan Bee ended his day on the mound after 6 2/3 innings of two run ball with five strike outs. Matching Bee pitch for pitch for Top Gun was MVPitcher John Robicheaux who went 6 2/3 innings with five strikeouts. As the game moved on to the eighth innings Top Gun scratched across a run as Nicholas McCord scored to put them up 3-2. RJ Brooks who came on to get the final out of the seventh inning used a good mix of fastballs and breaking balls to close put the game and send Top Gun 14U Black to the championship game.

In the Central Alabama Brewers Versus Top Gun 15U Black semi-final neither team waisted any time getting their offence going. Central Alabama Brewers got one run in the first innings courtesy of a Walker Allen single as he would later come around to score. In the home half of the first Will Cox lead off for Top Gun and got the inning started with a double. Top Gun would go on to hang three runs on the first with big hits from Nick Wilson and Jack Kendrick. Making the score 3-1 Top Gun. With his team still down 3-1 in the third Walker Allen tripled to lead off the inning and came around to score to cut the lead to 3-2. Down one in the fourth innings Central Alabama Brewers got a clutch hit from Matt Casey to drive in John Michael Lee and tie the game at three. The tie would not last long though as Top Gun would use some small ball and good base running to score after Grayson Long lead the inning off with a hit by pitch. Top Gun added two more runs on the bottom of the fifth as they stretched their lead to 6-3 and headed to the top of the sixth. With just six out to work with the Central Alabama Brewers offence needed a big inning. Tournament MVP Rob Gillespie got the rally started as he reached base to start the inning. The big hit in the inning came from Matt Casey as he drove in two with single to right field. Casey would score and tie the game at six as the next batter Camden Nunley reached base. After relief pitcher Eli Whitfield held the Top Gun bats at bay after a Will Cox lead off double it was time for the Central Alabama Brewers bats to go back to work. The Central Alabama Brewers did just that as they pushed across a run to take a 7-6 lead as Rob Gillespie came in to score. Eli Whitfield went back out in the seventh and worked a quick one-two-three inning to preserve the 7-6 win and send the Central Alabama Brewers to the championship game.

In the championship game the runs came in bunches as the Central Alabama Brewers bats picked up right where they left off in the semi-finals and the Top Gun 14U Black offense caught fire scoring in four of the seven innings. Top Gun were led offensively by Evan Bistritz who had three RBI's with two runs scored and John Robicheaux who went 2 for 3 with three RBI's and a double as the Top Gun offense went on to put up 10 runs. For the Central Alabama Brewers Walker Allen continued to crush the ball going 3 for 5 in the championship game with a double and two RBI. The real run producer in the championship game though was John Michael Lee who went 2 for 4 with a double, two runs scored and five RBI's. Jackson Beatty would add in a 2 for 4 day as well with three RBI's as the Central Alabama Brewers bats exploded for 15 runs. The swinging point in the game seamed to come when Jackson Beatty held the Top Gun offense scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings as the Central Alabama Brewers were able to stretch their lead on their way to 15-10 win in the 15U Deep South Bring the Heat Championship Game.
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