Stormy finish for Newton County All-Stars


Newton #24 is safe on first base during the semi final game held on Weds. at 10:00am

COVINGTON -- The Newton County All-Stars trailed by three runs after the first two innings of play against the Georgia team in the Dixie Boys Word Series championship game at City Pond Park on Wednesday. Georgia never looked back, eliminating Newton County 5-2 to win the championship.

Just as the local team started to charge back, scoring a run in the bottom of the third inning off a Jared Jones single, a lightning storm started, causing a game delay.

"That was definitely a rally killer," Newton County head coach Denny Hewell said during the delay. "I still like our chances, plus we have another four innings. I think we can get it back up to tempo."

But after the 90-minute delay, the Georgia team (Columbus) seemed to settle down defensively as it kept the Newton County bats off-balance the next three innings.

Offensively, team Georgia continued to swing a strong bat while being patient at the same time. In the top of the fifth, Georgia loaded the bases on two hit batsmen and a walk with one out. Georgia took advantage of a Newton County miscue to score a run to make it 4-1. Even though Georgia scored, the All-Stars took the momentum as Nick Womack struck out the batter for the third out leaving the bases loaded.

But Georgia pitcher Drew Reeves was able to get Newton County out of the bottom of the sixth,giving up a run.

Georgia responded by scoring in the top of the seventh to make it 5-2.

As a team, Newton County only had four hits, one each from Jared Jones, Jake Jones, Conner Hewell and Phillip Roew.

In the semifinal game, Newton County jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Alabama in the top of the first inning when Gray Ritchie cleared the bases with a double. Nick Womack added what turned to be a very important insurance run with a solo homer in the third to make it 4-0.

Alabama got on the board in the fourth inning off a Blake Yountz home run to cut Newton County's lead back to three runs.

In the bottom of the final inning, Alabama loaded the bases before Newton County traded the first out for a run on a Gage Young fielder's choice. After loading the bases again, Heath Senn scored on a Trevor May grounder to first base.

With runners in scoring position, Womack struck out Kent Bugg for the final out sending the All-Stars to the championship game.

In the quarterfinal game of the bottom bracket against South Carolina on Tuesday, Newton County trailed 2-0 before erupting for six, two-out runs during the marathon third. Womack clubbed a two-run home run with Jake Jones following with a solo shot before Hunter Phillips added a two-run double to help the hosts build a 7-2 lead. They weren't threatened much after that. Newton added a run each in both the fourth and fifth inning to for the 9-3 win.

Ritchie was the beneficiary of the run support, tossing a complete game victory while striking out five.

Rockdale Sports Writer Kurt Aschermann contributed to this story.