PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

August 22, 2013

Alabama turns back Mid-County for 16-18 Babe Ruth title

Andrew Garner
The Port Arthur News

COVINGTON COVE, Ala. — Alabama's Rawdogs beat the Mid-County All-Stars 2-0 Thursday afternoon to win the 2013 Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 World Series Championship Thursday at LBWCC's Crum Foshee Field.

 Behind a solid pitching performance from Keegan Curtis, the Rawdogs played gritty baseball to overcome a team that had beaten them last week.

 "It was a team effort," Rawdogs manager Tony Hendrix said. "I don't think we played our best game, and I don't think they did either. We were just fortunate to come out on the right side of it. The kids fought hard. It was just a team victory.

 It may have been a team win, but Curtis gets a ton of credit for pitching a lights-out game just days after working nine innings.

 The World Series Most Outstanding Player award winner threw a complete-game two-hitter, with three strikeouts and one walk. Additionally, Curtis scored Alabama's two runs — one in the first and sixth — thanks to key hits from Rob Perteet and Jesse McCord.

 "They came and beat us in the first game," Curtis said. "I know if we came and played Rawdog baseball, then we'd come out on top and be in the dog pile."

 Mid-County couldn't get anything going on with its bats, much like the entire tournament, coach Jimmy Collins said.

 "We just couldn't get the key two-out hit," Collins said. "We had people in position a couple of times, but we just couldn't get the hit. That's baseball."

 Kanton Richard and Jacob Garza went 1-for-3 each for Mid County. Aaron Graham pitched well for the Texans, giving up two runs on seven hits and striking out four in going the distance.

 In the top of the first inning, Curtis scored on Perteet's double that went down the right-field line, a ball that landed barely fair. When he saw the ball drop, Curtis starting trucking it around the bases to home.

 With a one-run lead, Curtis got off to a good start on the mound, retiring the first six batters in order.

By the bottom of the third inning, the Rawdogs were shining on defense, as Mid-County's Ryan Carline ended up hitting into an inning-ending double play, the first of two in the game.

 Mid-County had its opportunities, especially in the fourth inning with bases loaded and two outs. However, the hitting struggles ensued and Curtis shut down the Mid-County bats.

 The Rawdogs added an insurance run in the sixth.

 Curtis was hit by a pitch to put a runner on. Perteet then bunted him to second base.

Brian Lane hit a single to left that moved Curtis to third base. McCord then brought him home with a base hit.

 Mid County tried to rally in the seventh, getting off to a good start when Sampere was hit by a pitch to open the inning. Hendrix came out to the mound to check on Curtis, who reassured him that he was fine.

 "We really were short on pitching," Hendrix said. "We were asking (Curtis) to go three or four. He just kept going and going, and he did an outstanding job. He didn't have his best stuff, but it was good enough to win."

 Curtis responded by to the chat from his manager by inducing Michael Norris into a 6-4-3 double play, then got the last batter to fly out to left.

 When the last out was recorded, like Curtis said, a dog pile ensued near the pitcher's mound.

 "There's no better feeling in the world," Curtis said about the win. Hendrix said Curtis is what the team defines as a "Rawdog."

 With the victory, Hendrix won his eighth World Series title as a coach.