North Sweeps Pair From South In All-Star Baseball
Five North All-Star pitchers combined to hurl a three-hit shutout in game one, then the North hitters took over with 13 hits in game two for a sweep of the 17th annual AHSAA North-South Baseball All-Star competition Monday night at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium.
The North won 6-0 and 13-5 to take a 17-10-1 edge in the series, which began in 1997.
The contests were historic, becoming the first live webcast under the AHSAA's new AHSAA TV Network agreement with PlayOn! Sports and its new subscription-based digital format. The AHSAA TV Network will live-stream all championship events during the contract signed earlier this year and runs through 2019.
Game 2: North 13, South 5
The South struck quickly to build a 3-0 lead heading into the fourth inning. The North cut the lead to 3-1 when North MVP Kyle Wright of Buckhorn slammed a sharp, sinking liner to center field with the bases loaded for a triple to clear the bases to take a 4-3 lead. The North would not trail again.
Austin’s Peyton Miller slugged a 350-foot homer over the left-field wall in the top of the fifth to extend the North lead to 6-3.
The South then cut the lead to 6-5 with a comeback of its own in the bottom of the sixth. South MVP Keegan Curtis, who pitched two strong innings in game one, started the rally with a lead-off walk, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch. G.W. Long’s Stetson Payne also walked and later scored on an error.
The North posted seven runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach. Reeves Brashear of Childersburg, who had a two-run double in game one, drove in two more runs with a single. Tanner Cline of Northridge added an RBI single, Clayton Daniel of Guntersville doubled in a run and Riley Stokes of Hewitt-Trussville closed out the scoring with a two-run single to left.
Daniel was the winning pitcher, hurling two innings in relief with two strikeouts. Wright started and tossed one shutout inning with one strikeout. Tristan Wildra of John Carroll Catholic, J.T. Thompson of Deshler and Brashear also pitched well in short stints for the North.
Curtis led the South with a double and RBI and Blake Teel of Chilton County had a single and RBI. Starting South pitcher Rob Perteet of Spanish Fort pitched two shutout innings.
Game 1: North 6, South 0
Thompson’s Jacob Walters started and pitched two hitless innings to get the win. He faced only seven batters and struck out two. Josh Rich of Spain Park tossed the next two innings, allowing two hits and striking out one. Wildra, Tyler Craft of Colbert County and Thompson pitched one inning each to round out the seven-inning shutout.
Brashear drove in two runs with a double in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open a close game. It was the only extra-base hit of the game. Daniel led the North with two of his team’s seven hits.
Stokes added a single and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Ben Richards of Haleyville drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Curtis, the South starter, struck out four over two innings, gave up three hits and two unearned runs to get the loss. Blake Johnson of Central-Phenix City, Teel and Nathan Langley of Beauregard each had singles for the South squad.
The game was delayed for 30 minutes in the fifth inning due to rain.
Coaches for the North were Roger Wright of Buckhorn, father of MVP Kyle Wright, Deshler’s Jason Fuller, Thompson’s Pat Hamrick and Winterboro’s Brandon Brown. Keith Lucky of St. James was the administrative coach.
South coaches were Brent Boyd of Spanish Fort, Larry Cotney of Kinston, Ab Argent of Thorsby, Kevin Hall of Holtville and Ken Whittle of Trinity, the administrative coach.