Phil Campbell continues county tournament dominance by winning 13th consecutive trophy
PHIL CAMPBELL – No team other than Phil Campbell has felt the joy of winning a county title since 1997, and the Bobcats continued that streak Saturday by defeating Vina 6-3.
"We actually played some of our best defense today," said Phil Campbell coach Alf Welborn. "I'm glad we could keep the streak going."
The Red Devils jumped out to an early lead as Brent Townsend doubled, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Morgan McCarley to put Vina ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning.
McCarley, making his first start of the season on the mound for Vina, had an up-and-down performance. After walking the bases loaded with one out in the first inning, McCarley struck out two to get out of the jam before striking out all three batters faced in the second inning.
The Bobcats offense clicked in the third and put four runs on the board as Jordan Benford, Bailey Welborn, Adam Mitchell and Seth Brown all scored.
Sammy Pardue came in to relieve McCarley on the mound.
"(McCarley's) velocity was good. He did okay for amount the of work he's had," said Vina coach Greg Hamilton. "We are going to need him for a three-game series."
Vina answered in the bottom of the third. Brent Townsend singled then scored when McCarley reached on an error as the throw to first went into foul territory. Phil Campbell tried to throw Townsend out at the plate, but the throw was too late. The Bobcat catcher then threw to second to try and pick off McCarley. The ball bounced into the outfield, allowing McCarley to reach third.
Channing Haithcock drove McCarley home with a single to left field to cut the Phil Campbell lead to 4-3.
Benford added to the Bobcats' advantage in the fourth when he drew a walk, stole second and scored on a double by Bailey Welborn.
Benford scored again in the sixth when he doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice by Bailey Welborn and came home on a single by Mitchell.
"Vina's pitchers held us down. We just had a few timely hits," Alf Welborn said.
With the win, Phil Campbell improved to 14-17 on the season. The Bobcats defeated Tharptown 17-1 and Red Bay 5-3 to reach the finals.
Alf Welborn said the pitching was the key to Phil Campbell's success. During the three games, Bobcat pitchers only walked three batters and hit only two batters with pitches.
Benford hit a pair of doubles and drew two walks to lead the Phil Campbell offense while Bailey Welborn singled and doubled.
Mitchell singled, drew a walk and reached on a pair of errors while Seth Brown singled and Ryan Champion doubled and drew a walk.
Even though the Red Devils lost, Hamilton felt the game would help prepare his team for its first-round playoff series at Waterloo.
"The pitching is similar," Hamilton said.
Townsend led the Vina offense with two doubles and a single while Haithcock singled.
McCarley reached base on an error and Adam Pharr drew a walk.
Vina reached the finals by defeating Belgreen 10-0.
Phil Campbell 17
Benford, Mitchell and Brown all homered for the Bobcats in the opening game of the tournament.
Trevor Hallmark, Brandon Cothrum and Zack Sockwell all singled for the Wildcats.
Pharr hit two home runs to help lead the Red Devils past Belgreen in the semifinals of the Franklin County Baseball Tournament.
Cass White and Clay Pierce each had a double and a single while Haithcock doubled.
Cody Glasgow had the only hit for Belgreen, a single.
Phil Campbell 5,
Red Bay 3
The Bobcats scored three runs in the fourth inning and two runs in the fifth to take control of their semifinal game against Red Bay.
Bailey Welborn had a pair of singles while Mitchell singled and doubled for Phil Campbell.
Cody Armstrong doubled while Kevin Hastings, Eli Cox and Matt Montgomery all singled for Red Bay.