Spring Garden players participate in all-star game
by Rip Donovan
Sports Correspondent
May 15, 2013 | 597 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Spring Garden senior Will Penton and juniors Grant Benefield and Will Westbrook were three of 40 high school baseball players who formed two teams for the opening round of games in the annual Alabama Lions Club East-West All-Star Baseball Classic. The teams played a doubleheader at Glencoe on Thursday of last week.

Spring Garden coach Tony Benefield served as head coach for the team that included players from Cherokee County, DeKalb County, Gadsden City, Gaston and Douglas.

In the opening game, the team of primarily Etowah County players scored seven times in the sixth inning and twice in the seventh and won 10-1. The younger Benefield pitched the first four innings of the initial game and allowed only an unearned run in the second inning. He struck out eight and gave up two hits.

Westbrook laced an RBI double in the third inning, driving home Gadsden City catcher Matt Bishop, to knot the score at 1-all. Westbrook led off the fifth inning with another double but his teammates couldn’t get him home. Penton singled in the second inning and walked in his other at-bat in Game 1.

In the nightcap, the Benefield-coached team fared better, winning 8-6 on the strength of a seven-run third inning. Penton walked twice in the second game and scored in the third-inning rally. Benefield singled then scored in the third and later walked. Westbrook also coaxed a walk in Game 2.

Penton, not a part of the pitching plans when the games began, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning for a save.

“He jumped out there and did it, shut them down,” said the elder Benefield.

Westbrook and Benefield were two of 18 players chosen from the initial 40 to play in the second round. That doubleheader was scheduled for May 14 in Gadsden.

It was the Spring Garden coach’s first time to manage in an East-West series.

“It went well. (The players) all did what they were supposed to do,” Benefield said. “They were easy to coach. It was fun … especially in the second game when we actually hit the ball a little bit and won the game.”
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Spring Garden players participate in all-star game by Rip Donovan
Sports Correspondent

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