Reeves Brashear went yard twice Thursday to lead the Tigers in an 8-1 victory over visiting Lincoln as Childersburg claimed its seventh consecutive area title and 16th in 19 seasons under head coach Chad Slaten.
“We have been fortunate to win a bunch of them and we’ve had really good players come through here,” Slaten said. “We’re real young this year with three seniors and no juniors. I told them not to take it for granted. I want to make sure they don’t just expect it because they’re Childersburg. I want them to fight for it and I thought they did that.”
Reeves Brashear was a Jack-of-all-trades for the Tigers (18-7, 6-0) going 3-for-4 at the plate with two home runs, five RBIs and three runs scored. The sophomore also got the win on the mound, pitching six and two-thirds innings with one earned run, three hits and four strikeouts.
“Knowing we were going to be as young as we were this year, we had to work really hard,” Slaten said. “Our young kids are talented and our three seniors have been great leaders all year long. It doesn’t get old and we’re glad to get it.”
Slaten’s son Reid said he was proud of the accomplishment his father has achieved.
“I’m real happy that he got another milestone and the area championship,” he said. “Hopefully we get to win this 4A state championship again.”
As Area 9 champs, Childersburg will host Cleburne County in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs next Friday. The teams should be familiar with each other, as Tigers ousted Cleburne County in the first round last year.
“It’s always good to know you’re going to play at home in the first round,” Slaten said. “We have a really good Cleburne County team coming in here that’s basically the same team we played last year. They’re going to be good, so we need to have a really good week of practice.”
Colby Brashear went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, which came in the first inning. Jamel Roston finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, Peyton Logan went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Ryan Garrett and Jacob Ozment both went 1-for-3.
Zay Caldwell took the loss for the Golden Bears, giving up six earned runs and seven hits with three strikeouts in four innings. Colton Pate pitched the final two innings and gave up two earned runs.
Dylan Ochoa and Zack Poss both went 1-for-2 for Lincoln, while Caldwell went 1-for-3.
Despite the loss, Lincoln (9-8, 4-2) is also playoff bound. The Golden Bears finished second in the Area 9 standings and will travel to Alexandria next week.
“These kids haven’t been in the playoffs much,” said first-year head coach Ashley Carlisle. “We’re excited about going. We’re a little disappointed we didn’t win the area, but Childersburg’s got a great program. Their kids play baseball the way it’s supposed to be played and that’s something we’re trying to do and we learn from losing to teams like this.”
Slaten praised Carlisle’s coaching this season and said the Golden Bears are much better than in years past.
“The kids have worked hard to get us here,” Carlisle said. “It feels good. We’re where we’re supposed to be. We’re changing the mentality from hoping we make the playoffs to expecting to make the playoffs. This is our worst-case scenario.”
Childersburg will play Central-Coosa and B.B. Comer and Saturday, while Lincoln will face Saks as both teams warm up for the playoffs.
“We had a good crowd out here and we get great fan support,” Slaten said. “It’s really important to be at home because we have a great atmosphere. We want everybody out here next Friday and I know they’re going to come. This is a really fun time of year.”
Contact Wesley Sinor at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DailyHomeSports.