6 Sigma rallies to beat BET

By Marvin Birchfield

   In the match of the night, it was 6 Sigma Automation coming from behind to grab the victory over BET Welding in a 9-7 National Little League final at T.J. Burleson Field on Monday.
   "We've been so close in so many games this year, but we came through tonight and I'm proud of them," said 6 Sigma Automation coach Kenny Hardin.
   BET was able to maintain a lead through the first part of the game, but 6 Sigma countered by taking advantage of the opportunities that were presented.
   In the first inning, BET grabbed a 2-0 lead after a line-drive single to left-field from Jake Davis scored Josh Sorah.
   Another run came off of a fielder's choice from Justin Bailey, driving in Michael Hutchins.
   BET added to its advantage in the top of the second, when a single from Bucky Harris and an error at center-field allowed Jacob Miller to score.
   Another run crossed on a sacrifice fly by Sorah to drive home Adam Buck.
   6 Sigma was able to battle back in the top of the frame after acquiring three straight hits to load the bases.
   A fielder's choice from Tory Mann pushed across its first score with Matt Cannon coming home, then a walk to D.J. Reece with bases loaded brought Logan Loving in for the second run.
   A hit from Bailey, which flew out of reach of the third-baseman's glove, scored Hutchins for BET in the top of the third.
   But 6 Sigma battled back to close the contest down to one when an error at shortstop enabled Eric Norman to score, and a single from Cannon brought home Wendell Loving.
   "A couple of our older guys stepped up and hit the ball," Hardin said. "Their pitcher was throwing strikes and we made contact."
   This forced BET to make a pitching change, with Crapps coming to the mound for Bailey, and he was able to get BET out of the inning by striking out two of the three batters faced.
   6 Sigma decided to change pitchers to start the fourth, as Cannon replaced Loving.
   An error on a hit ball by Hutchins at shortstop gave Harris the time he needed to come home and make the score.
   The 6 Sigma team trailed by two-runs to start the bottom of the fourth, but difficulty at the mound for BET was the break that Sigma was looking for.
   "We weren't ready to go after it today, and we didn't come to play so that's what happens when you don't show up," said BET Welding coach B.J. Guinn.
   Four of the five first batters were walked, which scored Mann, shrinking the lead to one.
   "That's what happens to us sometimes," Guinn said. "We didn't make the hits, field the ball, or throw the strikes."
   From there, a ground single by Norman gave 6 Sigma its first lead of the night, with Jake Howell and Corey Hardin crossing the plate.
   Another hit from Loving scored Brandon Woodby, and Daniel Simerly, with a fielder's choice, drove home Norman.
   BET attempted to make a run in the final frame, as it was able to get a run off of a passed ball and a throw from the catcher to third-base.
   With bases loaded and BET threatening, Hutchins hit a nice shot to left-field, but Reece was able to make a great catch to make the final out.
   "I can't say enough about D.J. Reece in his first year," Hardin said. "He made an excellent play on a well hit ball."
   Carter County Bank 12
   Grindstaff Automotive 2
   Carter County Bank was able to make a strong showing to get past Grindstaff Automotive.
   "We came out and stood behind our pitcher today, and stepped it up in hitting the ball," said Carter County Bank coach David Mann.
   The Bank started off by getting four straight hits, which drove in two of its four first inning runs.
   A triple from Justin Fuqua brought the first run in with Derrick Mann crossing the plate, and a single from Isiah Osborne drove home Fugua.
   Two more runs were scored when Heath Honeycutt ripped a hit up the middle, bringing home Kenny Yarberry and Cain McWalters.
   Grindstaff got on the board in the third after a passed ball allowed Shawn Shuffler to come home, but an attempt by Brandon Howell was not successful as a throw from the pitcher to the catcher got him out.
   Carter County Bank went on a tear in the top of the third by connecting on eight hits and scoring seven runs.
   This continuous hitting onslaught prematurely put the nails in the coffin for Grindstaff.
   "We were making a better effort in trying to hit the ball, but they were just getting hits and we weren't," said Grindstaff Automotive coach Jeff Powell.
   Another scored was made by Grindstaff off of a wild pitch with Jeremy Berkley crossing the plate.
   "Errors are what have cost us a couple of ball games, and that is what we have been trying to cut down on," said Mann.
   This was after a failed attempt by Ethan Fleenor, who was tagged by the pitcher at home plate on a passed ball.
   The game ended in the top of the fourth with the ten-run rule coming into play, when Cody Buck hit a fielder's choice to drive home McWalters.
   "They are things like bunts we can improve on," Powell said. "We were not getting the coverage we needed when they bunted."