Burgie, CCM win nail-biters

By Tim Chambers

   Do you remember the slogan "baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet?" It's a line that all of us are familiar with.
   When the Chevy won't run or the pie gets burned, Little League baseball still happens to be one of the best shows in town. Thursday night's double feature proved to be better than eating al a mode in the front seat of a new 2004 Impala.
   Behind the two hit pitching of Cody "The Rock" Hyder, Carter County Motors edged out a hard-fought 1-0 win over Tri-Cities Nissan at T.J. Burleson Field.
   Hyder and Ethan Fleenor were magnificent on the mound, with each striking out batters like a monkey eating his way through bunches of bananas.
   The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth when Stacey Sheffield lined a hard single and Hyder reached on an error. Sheffield was able to advance at third and later come home on a pass ball.
   Time was not a factor as the Fords and Nissans raced through six innings of play in one hour and 20 two minutes.
   Double trouble, Stacy and Casey Sheffield had the two hits for Motors. Fleenor and Cody Hill collected the only hits for Nissan.
   Hyder struck out 13 on the evening while Fleenor record 14 strikeouts. Each pitcher walked only one batter.
   "I was very proud of our kids tonight for the way they hung in there," said a happy Motors head coach Richard Sheffield. "Rock (Hyder) pitched a great game and so did Ethan (Fleenor).
   "It was a great game to watch."
   Burgie 2 Six Sigma 1
   It would have been hard to top off the first game but the second contest was a classic as well. Drew "The Babe" Chambers hooked up in a pitching duel with Jacob Howell, and the result was much like the first contest.
   Chambers, the hard-throwing lefty, had only four innings to pitch due to the 12-year-old pitching rule, but made the most of it by tossing no-hit ball, getting every out by way of strikeouts while walking none. One batter reached by the way of an error.
   Meanwhile, Howell held Burgie scoreless until the fourth inning, when Chambers blasted a fastball well beyond the right center-field fence for a home run and a 1-0 lead.
   Ryan Thomas ripped a pitch off the center-field wall in the same inning for a triple and came home on a throwing error to make the score 2-0.
   Sean Bentley relieved Chambers in the top of the fifth and gave fans his version of John Smoltz. holding Six Sigma to one run over the next two innings.
   Logan Loving was able to reach on a hit and steal his way around before coming home to close the gap at 2-1.
   With two outs in the sixth, Gavin Heaton ripped a shot into right center field for a triple. A brilliant blocking of the plate by catcher Matt Febuary on a throw from Cody Wilson cut down the third out at home, preventing Six Sigma from tying the contest and giving Burgie the win.
   Chambers was the winning pitcher while Howell pitched beautifully the entire night in defeat. Bentley got the save.
   Chambers led Burgie, going 2 for 2, while Luke Martinez, Thomas and Aaron Vaughn added 1-for-2 performances. Loving and Heaton had the only hits for Sigma.
   "I thought both teams played well tonight," said Burgie head coach Adam Copeland. "What a performance by Drew."
   "He strikes out 12, hits the home run, but his first hit down by the first base line was the hardest ball that I've ever seen hit in this league."
   "Ryan (Thomas) made some big plays, Matt (Febuary) did a great job of blocking the plate and getting the runner out and Sean (Bentley) pitched very well in relief. Everyone should be proud of every kid that took the field tonight for both team."
   This is why they call it Little League, the best show in town.