Tigers beat Brookwood for 1st playoff win since 2008

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Demopolis (14-14) earned its way into the second round of the Class 5A playoffs for the first time since 2008 Saturday with a 6-3 road win over Brookwood.

The decisive game saw Ben Pettus strike out nine batters over seven innings of work on the mound. The senior scattered seven hits and four walks while holding Brookwood to three runs.

All of the damage Brookwood managed to do against Pettus came early as the Tiger hurler battled through trouble in the first three innings before settling down to throw four scoreless frames to wrap up the win.

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Pettus got most of his offensive support from fellow senior Allen Tucker and a pair of junior twins who man the middle infield spots for the Tigers.

Tucker went 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, an RBI and a run scored in the game. Daniel Sturdivant, the Tigers’ shortstop, went 3-for-3 with a triple, a double and a run scored while his second baseman brother Alex went 2-for-5.

Pettus went 1-for-4 with a walk out of the leadoff spot for the Tigers. Kole Thrasher walked, reached on an error and scored a run. Bill Holemon went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Chase Cameron went 1-for-4. William Stewart went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Louis Stuedeman walked and scored while Payne Hasty singled in his own at-bat.

Like their Broookwood counterparts, the Tigers scattered their scoring rallies over two innings, posting three runs in the third and three more in the fifth for the win.

Saturday’s win followed a long night for the Tigers, who battled Brookwood to a 6-4 loss in 10 innings during the nightcap of a Friday double-header.

In that contest, Cameron pitched nine innings, allowed four hits and struck out nine batters. Location issues plagued Cameron for parts of the night as he walked eight batters and plunked one. But the senior battled through his difficulties to stay on the mound and keep the game close.

“Location. Location. Location,” Demopolis pitching coach James Moody said of the control that enabled seniors Cameron and Pettus to combine for 16 innings of work and extend their high school playing careers. “Petey and Chase really competed hard. They didn’t have their good stuff.”

Game two saw Pettus go 3-for-5 and scored two runs out of the Tigers’ leadoff spot. Thrasher and Taylor Polk each went 1-for-4. Holemon walked twice, was hit by a pitch and scored a run. Alex Sturdivant went 1-for-3. Cameron had a single. Tucker went 1-for-2 with two walks and gave way to pinch runner Brock Montgomery, who scored in the seventh inning.

The series opened with a shutout pitching performance by junior William Stewart, who allowed only three hits over seven innings of work while walking one and striking out five.

“He’s been consistent all year,” Moody said of Stewart, whose record sits at 6-3. “He very easily could be 9-1.”

Stewart’s team gave him some run support in the fifth inning when it broke a scoreless tie before adding an insurance score in the sixth. The lead was enough for Stewart to put Brookwood on the brink of elimination.

Tucker went 1-for-3 with a run scored in the game while Cameron accounted for the other score while going 1-for-2. Holemon went 1-for-3 with a walk. Pettus went 1-for-4. Stewart reached base in two of his three plate appearances, going 1-for-2 with a walk.

The Tigers will host Chilton County in the second round of the playoffs Friday with a double-header. The first game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. with the second game set to begin at 7 p.m Should a third game be required, it will be played Saturday at 1 p.m.