Flomaton defeats Blue Devils in first round of county tourney
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
W.S. Neal's Blue Eagles and Flomaton's Hurricanes picked up victories in the first day of competition in the 2001 Escambia County Baseball Tournament.
The Blue Eagles knocked off their arch-rival, T.R. Miller 9-5 in the first game of the tournament Thursday afternoon in Flomaton. The host Hurricanes then defeated the Escambia County Blue Devils 9-7 in the nightcap.
Escambia County was designated the home team and had a chance to tie or beat Flomaton in the bottom of the seventh but left the bases loaded with the score 9-7 in favor of the Hurricanes.
In an unfamiliar role, the Hurricanes batted first in their home park. Brian Hastings began the game with a lead off single. An error enabled Hastings to move to second. He later scored on a passed ball. Jessie Allgood followed and reached base on the second Blue Devil error of the inning. Lee Turner's single drove Allgood in for the second run of the game. A rare batter's interference call on a strike out ended the Hurricane half of the first.
ECHS went three up and three down in the bottom of the first.
Flomaton loaded the bases, without the benefit of a hit, in the second but failed to score.
ECHS took the lead after scoring four runs in the bottom of the second. Keith Bell and Adam Young drew consecutive walks with one out. John Rehorn then reached base on a Flomaton error and Bell and Young scored. Mark Rodgers followed with a two-run homer.
The Hurricanes went down in order in the top of the third.
The Blue Devils added to their lead in the bottom of the inning. Traveis Guy reached base on an error with one out and promptly stole second. Bell stepped to the plate with two out and delivered and RBI double. Young followed Bell and also hit an RBI double. He was left stranded on second.
The Hurricanes reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth. FHS scored five runs on one hit and three errors in the inning. Dejohn Walker led off the inning with a walk and Eli Himes followed with a single. An error allowed Walker to cross the plate and Himes to reach third. Justin White was then hit by a pitch. A successful double steal scored Himes and moved White to second. White later scored on a passed ball. An error allowed Kyle Henderson to reach first. Hastings was then hit by a pitch. He scored later as the result of an error.
Trailing 7-6, the Blue Devils came to bat in the bottom of the fifth. After a strike out, Bell was hit by a pitch. He moved to third on a double by Young. Rehorn then singled and scored Bell.
With the game tied at seven, the Hurricanes took the lead for good in the top of the sixth. Hastings led off the inning and drew a walk. Allgood then hit a bunt single. Turner's fielder's choice drove in Hastings. A single and an error on a ball hit by Justin Tullis allowed Allgood to score the final run of the game.
ECHS threatened in the bottom of the seventh but FHS pitcher Bo Newton struck out the final two batters with the bases loaded.
Newton went the distance for the Hurricanes. He gave up seven runs (three earned), nine hits, three walks, hit one batter and struck out nine.
Hastings (1-1, 3 RS, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 1 SB), Allgood (1-5, 2 RS), Turner (1-4, 2 RBI), Tullis (1-3, SAC), Newton (1 BB), Walker (1 RS, 1 BB), Himes (1-4, 1 RS, 1 SB), White (1-3, 1 RS, 1 HBP, 1 SB) and Henderson (1-3, 1 RS, 2B, 1 BB) led the Flomaton offense.
Chase McGhee pitched seven innings for the Blue Devils. He allowed nine runs (two earned), seven hits, five walks, hit three batters and struck out 10.
Leading the Blue Devils' offense were Young (3-3, 1 RS, 1 RBI, 2 2B, 1 BB), Bell (2-2, 3 RS, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HBP), Guy (1-4, 1 RS, 2B, 1 SB), Aaron Gorum (1-1), Rehorn (1-3, 1 RS, 1 RBI, 1 BB) and Rodgers (1-4, 1 RS, 2 RBI, HR).