Blue Devils open season with 8-7 win over Northview
Published 12:14 am Saturday, February 22, 2003
The Escambia County Blue Devils baseball team opened their season on Tuesday with a thrilling 8-7 come-from-behind win against rival Northview at Tom Byrne Park.
"For our first game of the year we played pretty good. Early in the game we made some mistakes both mentally and physically, but in the end we battled back and scored when we needed to," ECHS Head Baseball Coach Keith Nall said.
Chris Graham stepped up in the bottom of the eighth and delivered the game-winning hit. Northview had some miscommunication between players on the play that allowed the ball to fall in. "Even though it was a miscommunication, Chris put the ball in play like he was supposed to and good things happen when you put the ball in play," Nall said.
"Anthony Patrick and Norris Brooks both threw the ball well tonight.
Anthony got tired in the fifth but my plan was to use both pitchers anyway.
Anthony got to his pitch limit and Norris came in as relief in the fifth and finished the job," Nall said.
Graham, along with Craig Montel and Jordan Drew each had two RBI's. Miles Smith had one. Franklin Boykin and Dereke Martin each had two runs.
"If we can cut down on the little mistakes and get more timely hits, I think we will win some ball games this year. Overall, I was extremely proud of the way our guys came back from a 7-2 deficit. That is something we haven't done in the past," Nall said.
The ECHS Boys JV team also won in their debut game against Northview, 3-2. The Blue Devils scored two runs in the bottom of the last inning to take the victory. Chris Graham, pulling double duty on both teams, came on in relief of Jonathan McNeil and got the win on the mound. John Brantley scored on a wild throw to first base on a ground ball by Charles Dailey.
ECHS JV Head Coach Jarrod Green said before the game "We are primarily eighth and ninth grade boys. We have one 10th grader. We'll have to see what we can do with the sticks. Defense is our biggest concern at this point."