Simmons' Roofing, BC tie; WHM rebuffs Estep

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   It was an exciting night in the Carter County League on Monday as the final game in the Babe Ruth division ended in an 11-11 tie between Simmons' Roofing & Vinyl and Birchfield's Construction.
   Simmons' grabbed the lead through the first two innings, but a strong comeback from Birchfield's in the third tied the contest as time became a factor.
   "We came back and if we'd had a little more time then we might of won it, but we might have lost it too," said Birchfield's Construction coach Dan Parke. "We started off slow and then we came back, so we did all right."
   A triple to center field from Ricky Berry drove home Damon Lewis to put Simmons' on top in the early going.
   James Coffey stole home to score the third run of the frame for Simmons', but Birchfield's came back to close the gap to one after a couple of errors were committed.
   A hit toward the pitcher's mound by Jimmie Ritchie drove home the first score, with Josh Wills crossing the plate.
   Tyler Carr followed with a ground-out to the pitcher, which allowed Ritchie to cross for the second run.
   Simmons' stretched its advantage during the second frame after driving in five runs.
   A rip up the middle from Landon Thomas brought home two scores, which made it 8-3 in favor of Simmons'.
   Birchfield's added three runs in the bottom of the second, as the first two runs were scored off a single from Wills to bring home Dustin Stover and Greg Parke.
   Simmons' posted three runs in the top of the third to grab a six-run lead, but pitching woes in the bottom of the frame allowed Birchfield's to make a rally.
   A rocking shot to left field by Carr scored a two-run homer, which seemed to stun Simmons', which had been in control up until that point.
   Ritchie connected on a hit up the middle to draw Birchfield's to within one run, and a walk to Chris Russell brought the tying run home.
   Three runs scored from walks with bases loaded in the final frame, but a catch from first-baseman Billy Hilton enabled Simmons' from dropping the game.
   "We hit the ball good and played good defense, but our pitching kind of fell through there at the end," said Simmons' Roofing & Vinyl coach Dale Colbaugh. "We were fortunate to get Damon Lewis in there to throw strikes at the end and catch that fly ball to end the game before their best home-run hitter was up."
   Little League
   Wayne's Home Maintenance 11
   Mountain Empire 6
   It was a duel that wasn't decided until the final frame, as Wayne's Home Maintenance pulled out the win over Mountain Empire.
   "They made sure they didn't swing at bad pitches, and when they were in there they hit the ball," said Wayne's Home coach Dan Parke. "It's been competitive all year long, and it seems like every game has been a nailbiter and kept the crowd standing on their feet."
   After going scoreless in the first frame, both teams posted five runs apiece in the second inning, with Daniel Stout driving in a score off a single for Wayne's and Troy Dennis bringing home two runs off of a double for Mountain Empire.
   Michael Covarrubias had a RBI in the final frame for Wayne's, along with five other runs which were scored off of walks.
   Mountain Empire added just one run in the bottom of the third, which was scored by Lucas Thomas after a walk with bases loaded brought him into home plate.
   "Errors killed us -- we threw the ball game away," said Mountain Empire coach Mark Simmons. "We had some good hitting, but we had too many mental errors at the end."
   Ron's Masonry 15
   Estep Trucking 7
   It was Ron's Masonry exploding in the final frame to capture a victory over Estep Trucking.
   "They played good and you couldn't ask for any better, because they sucked it up and played when they had to," said Ron's Masonry coach Thomas Buchanan. "I want to congratulate every one of my kids -- they've played hard and you couldn't ask for a better group of kids than what they are."
   After trailing 7-2 through the first three innings, Ron's caught fire to score 13 runs in the top of the fourth to capture the win.
   Estep scored seven runs during the second frame, with Dylan Harmon coming across the plate for the first score, and Ben Jones became the last runner to cross.
   Dustin McKinney made the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth for Ron's, as several mistakes by the Estep defense allowed the come back.
   "We played a great three-inning game, but it was four innings long," said Estep Trucking coach Charlie Casey. "I think we're capable of beating any team out here, and come playoffs I honestly think we can do that."