Cougars fall to Clarke PrepPublished 9:26pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Oh, beware the middle innings.
Trailing 5-3 going into the top of the third inning, the Escambia Academy Cougars’ defense allowed six runs over the next two innings, losing a matinee game to Clarke Prep School 15-6.
During that two-inning stretch the Cougars committed 10 errors after coming off victories in games at Jay High School and Pensacola Christian Academy.
“We had too many errors,” coach Mickey Cannon said after the noon game Wednesday. “Mental mistakes and errors put you in a hole you can’t get out of.”
The Cougars started in a hole after giving up three runs in the opening frame.
After EA pitcher Reid Bell struck out the Gators’ Benjamin Picker, Rush Wiggins was walked and Drew Laramore doubled to put two runners in scoring position with one out.
Hayden Nichols was thrown out at first during the next at-bat to give the Cougars two outs, but a single by Colby Myers scored Wiggins to put the Gators up 1-0.
Bell walked Caleb Tucker during the next at-bat to load the bases and then walked opposing pitcher Matt Everette to score Laramore and give the Gators a 2-0 lead.
Bell walked Daniel Coleman during the next at-bat to score Myers and put the Gators up 3-0.
The top of the first ended with Bell threw Tucker out at home.
Good hitting helped the Cougars in the bottom of the inning. Garrett Helton hit a leadoff single and Nate Smith followed with a single. Bell hit an infield fly, which allowed Helton to take third.
Michael Thompson doubled to score Helton to cut into the Gators’ lead at 3-1 and move Smith to third. Tristan McAnally hit a sacrifice fly that scored Smith to make it 3-2. J.P. Sawyer was thrown out at first during the next at-bat to end the inning.
After getting Picker to hit a deep flyout to right-center field, Bell hit Wiggins with a pitch, giving him first base. Laramore flew out to right-center field during the next at-bat before Nichols doubled to score Wiggins and extend the lead to 4-2.
Bell was pulled after an inning and two-thirds in favor of Brett Gorum.
After Nichols took third base on a passed ball, Myers singled to score him to give Clarke Prep a 5-2 lead. A throwing error during the next at-bat moved Tucker to first and Myers to third. Everette stranded both runners on a groundout to first.
After Everette stuck out Gorum and Trey McGhee to start the bottom of the second, Blake Clark connected for a double and Helton reached first on an error.
With runners on the corners, Smith singled to score Clark and cut into the Gators’ lead at 5-3. A Bell pop out ended the threat.
Gorum gave up a leadoff single to Coleman and a single to Jacob Allen. Coleman moved to third on an error before Gorum struck out Picker.
Coleman and Allen scored during the next at-bat to give the Gators a 7-3 lead and Wiggins took second on another error. Laramore singled to score Wiggins to go up 8-3.
Nichols singled and Tucker walked loading the bases for Everette. The runners were stranded when Everette was struck out by Gorum.
Everette set the Cougar side down in order to end the bottom of the third.
The Gators’ Coleman reached first on an error before being moved to third on two straight passed balls. Jacob Allen reached first on another error while Coleman scored from third to make the score 9-3.
Picker singled during the next at-bat. Paramore put the ball in play during the following at-bat and the Cougars’ McGhee tagged Allen at home plate, but dropped the ball, allowing him to score to put the Gators up 10-3.
Nichols reached second after the ensuing at-bat and Wiggins scored on a fielder’s choice to give the Gators an 11-3 lead. A Myers pop out ended the threat.
Gorum doubled to leadoff the bottom of the fourth and scored moments later on a McGhee single to cut the lead to 11-4. Ryan Johnson took first in place of McGhee.
Clark and Helton moved Johnson to second and then third on a sacrifice groundouts before Nate Smith was walked to put runners on the corners with two outs.
Bell was thrown out at first to end the threat.
Gorum added a strikeout to his total to start the next inning and sat Gator batters down in order.
A Thompson single got things started for the Cougars in the bottom of the fifth. McAnally followed with a single of his own before Sawyer singled to score Thompson and cut the Gator lead to 11-5.
Gorum hit into a double play and Johnson was thrown out at first to end the threat.
Clark caught a foul pop hit by Allen for the first out of the sixth inning, but Picker reached first on an error to get things started for the Gators.
Wiggins popped out for the inning’s second out, but a Picker steal of second base and a Paramore double gave the Gators a 12-5 lead.
Paramore advanced to third on a passed ball before Nichols doubled to score him. Clarke Prep led 13-5.
Myers doubled to score another run for the Gators. Clarke Prep led 14-5 before Gorum threw Myers out at second to end the inning.
Helton beat out the throw at first to score a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning. After Smith was thrown out at first and H.T.
Fountain was hit by a pitch, Thompson singled to load the bases for the Cougars.
A McAnally single during the next at-bat scored Helton to cut the Gators’ lead down to 14-6. Sawyer flew out to center with the bases loaded to end the late threat.
Gorum gave up a leadoff walk to Tucker in the top of the seventh. Everette was thrown out at first before Coleman singled to move Tucker to third base. Allen hit into a fielder’s choice, which scored Tucker and gave the Gators a 15-6 lead.
Gorum walked the next batter before forcing a pop out to end the inning.
A Josh Fields single got things started for EA with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. The next batter Clark hit into a double play to end the game.