Phenix City wins, must beat Jackson twice for title

Game with Huntsville Eastern delayed due to protest

Special to the EnquirerJuly 16, 2013 

The Phenix City 11-12 All-Stars defeated Huntsville Eastern 10-6 Tuesday night to advance for a shot at the state championship against Jackson.

Phenix City must beat Jackson twice, tonight at 7 p.m. and Thursday at 7 p.m. to win the title.

Meanwhile, a protest delayed the elimination game at Idle Hour Park between Huntsville Eastern and Phenix City Tuesday night for two hours as a ruling was awaited by the national tournament committee from Williamsport, Pa.

This was yet again a long wait for the Phenix City All-Stars, a team that has been unable to start any game of the tournament on time due to various difficulties. The protest, which involved pitch counts, was decided against Phenix City and four pitchers were ruled ineligible for Tuesday's game with Huntsville Eastern.

The Phenix City All-Stars had remained alive in the tournament by eliminating Auburn Beehive by a 4-3 margin Monday night.

That game, scheduled for 7 p.m., did not begin until 9:24 p.m. as rain delayed the first game between Jackson and Huntsville International. Coupled with that, the All-Stars first game Saturday was delayed 4 1/2 hours due to rain.

The All-Stars won Monday night in the lowest scoring game of the tournament because of good pitching by both Phenix City's Peyton Fowler and Auburn's Anthony Imperio.

DJ Rias doubled for the All-Stars to start the game and scored on Tucker Melton's hit for a 1-0 lead. But Auburn, who scored 11, 10 and 15 runs in their previous three games, came right back with 2 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the third.

Again Phenix City rallied with two runs in the fourth on a hit by Melton and three Auburn errors to make it 3-2. Again Auburn came back to tie the score at 3-3 on a Kit Cawley hit in the bottom of the inning.

Phenix City scored its final run what proved to be the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Bryce Newman that plated Peyton Fowler. Fowler was the starting pitcher and he was relieved by Vickers who finished the game and got the win.

The game was delayed by a protest with one out in the 6th inning, but Ricky Thornton, Southeast representative with Little League who was at the game, contacted Williamsport and the game resumed after a 22-minute delay.

The protest Tuesday was separate from the Monday night call.

Phenix City coach Brent Bell had high praise for his team after the 4-3 win.

"Peyton (Fowler) pitched the game of his life and everyone contributed with Rias, Melton and Fowler and Vickers coming in when he did. We had big hits and big plays and played team ball. "Bell said after the contest.

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