Cougars out slug Tornadoes in Fri. game

Published 9:33 am Sunday, March 3, 2002

By Staff
Friday afternoon in Greenville, the Escambia Academy Cougars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning of baseball action. However, that lead would not last long as the Greenville Academy Tornadoes would score 2 in their half of the inning to go ahead, 2-1. The lead changed hands 7 times during this ballgame and the score wound up tied 13-13 at the end of the sixth. Then, Justin Shirley led off the seventh with a single. He stole second base and reached third on an infield hit by his younger brother, Steven. With runners on the corners and no outs, Coach Heath Gibson's Cougars ran the doublesteal to perfection as Steven Shirley slid into second, and Justin beat the throw back home standing up. The Cougars took a 14-13 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning with Justin Shirley standing on the mound and Coach Gibson in the dugout thinking the same thingthrow strikes, play defense. The Cougars first 3-up, 3-down inning of the year couldn't have come at a better time. With solid defense behind him, Justin sat the Tornadoes down in order to even E.A.'s record at 1 and 1.
Bradford Price and Michael Cannon who each went 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored led the Cougars at the plate along with Steven Shirley who was 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored, and Justin Shirley who collected 2 hits, scored 4 times, and was on base all 5 at bats. Kevin Adair, Jace Beasley, and Cody White all had 1 hit apiece, while White and Josh Morgan rounded out E.A.'s scoring with 1 run each. Justin Shirley earned the win as he gave up 4 runs (none earned), 2 hits, and recorded 2 strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings of relief.
Coach Gibson states, "If we can continue to improve our defense, we will have a shot at winning a lot of games."Our guys are putting the bat on the ball pretty good for this early in the season," he said. With this win, his Cougars are headed in the right direction. On Deck: The Cougars face Warrior Academy in Canoe on Saturday, March 9 at 11 a.m. for a double-header.

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