Newton beats Troy in classic Dixie Youth game
Published 12:00 am Friday, July 12, 2002
Normally when a pitcher fires a no-hitter and strikes out 18 batters out of a possible 18 outs, that team wins, and there is much cause for celebration.
That was not the case Wednesday night, as Troy’s Casey Weston did hold Newton to no hits over six innings, and he did strike out every recorded out in the regulation six innings, but that unfortunately did not add up to a Troy victory.
Newton manufactured a run off a walk and a daring steal of home plate in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game 1-1, and after Troy went ahead 2-1 in the top of the ninth inning, Newton won the game in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run homer for the 3-2 win.
Troy, Newton and the Eufaula Americans each had one loss after Wednesday’s all-nighter, and Newton drew the bye, sending Troy back to Eufaula Thursday night to play Eufaula again in the sub-district tournament. The winner will face Newton Friday night, 7 p.m., for the sub-district championship.
Forgive Casey Weston if he slept late Thursday morning. The 12-year-old right-hander pitched six innings of -one-hit ball Monday night, striking out 14. Tuesday night he caught 10 innings behind the plate, and Wednesday night worked his heart out for six innings with a powerful fastball and a curveball that resembled a thrill ride at Six-Flags.
The extra-inning game Wednesday was the second in two nights for Troy, who played 19 innings in two nights.
It appeared Troy would state their case to put Newton out of the tournament as leadoff hitter William Teal tripled to open the game, and Ryan Williamson walked and stole second base with not outs. But Newton’s starting pitcher Justin Bass was masterful, striking out two of the next three batters and not allowing another hit until the fifth inning.
Weston, during the meantime, was brilliant, striking out seven consecutive hitters until walking Nick McKnight in the third, and then striking out the next two batters. Weston also walked one batter in the fourth inning, but retired the side in the fifth inning on three consecutive strikeouts.
Troy punched a run across in the fifth inning for a 1-0 lead as Drew Vaughan ripped a single up the middle, reached second on a wild pitch, and scored on a hard-hit single to right field by Weston, who by the way, was 2-for-3 on the night.
Troy threatened again in the top of the sixth inning as Sam Jones and Adam Senn reached first and third, respectively, but Bass retired the next three batters to end the rally.
With only three outs remaining to send Troy undefeated to the championship game, Weston faced Newton power-hitter Durell Brackins, who has hit three home runs in the tournament before Tuesday’s game. Weston worked Brackins close, before surrendering a walk to the hitter. Weston then went to work on the next hitter, but a wild pitch sent Brackins to second base. Weston had two strikes on the batter, when another curve ball in the dirt went to the backstop, and Brackins took off for third base.
That’s when Brackins and Newton’s third base coach caught everyone by surprise. When Troy’s Zeb Swindall – who caught an excellent game for the Nationals – fired the ball back to Weston, Brackins bolted for home, and slid in safely for the 1-1 tie.
Weston then struck out the next three batters, to send the game into extra innings. Bass finished his final inning in the top of the seventh, three-up, three down. Troy’s Ryan Williamson came on to pitch for Troy, and retired six out of seven batters over the seventh and eighth innings, allowing only a single to D.J. Folds in the eighth.
Troy went ahead 2-1 in the top of the ninth inning when Sam Jones beat out an infield single, reached second on a wild pitch, and scored on a two-out single by Dario Rouse.
However, Williamson faced the heart of the Newton batting order in the bottom of the ninth inning. Antonio Curley drew a walk to lead off the inning, and with the count 0-2 on Bass, the burly right-handed hitter launched a fastball over the left field fence for the 3-2 Newton win.
Troy collected seven hits on the evening, as Teal, Vaughan, Jones, Rouse and Jake Smith had one hit each, while Weston had two hits.
Newton’s pitching was also dominant, striking out 15 Troy batters over 9 innings.