ECHS Blue Devils get win needed to reach the playoffs

Published 3:56 am Wednesday, April 16, 2003

By Staff
From Staff
Press Reports
The Escambia County Blue Devils had a tough week in area play but pulled through it to get the win they needed to clinch a birth in the state tournament. The following is a recap of area play.
Blue Devils 4
Charles Henderson 6
"Today we played a real good ball game. After getting beat pretty handily by Charles Henderson just a week ago, I thought we came out and showed some heart and played extremely well," Escambia County High School baseball coach Keith Nall said. "I was very satisfied with our overall performance, especially our hitting. I told our kids that they just played a solid game against the number 10 team in the state of Alabama. Also, I told them that that shows that they can play with anybody.
"Hitting is one area that we have really struggled with the last few ballgames," Nall said. "Today we collected 11 hits. A lot of those hits came when we needed them. The biggest thing I was pleased with is that Charles Henderson threw the same pitchers today that shut us down last week and we had a solid game offensively."
"We played another pretty good defensive game," Nall said. "We threw four different pitchers and all four had good outings. We threw four because we have a double header Monday and those guys have got to throw then also. Our first game Monday will be against Greenville and that game will determine our playoff hopes. The second game will be against Jay.
"I told our guys that if we would just come out Monday with the same attitude we had today and duplicate today's performance, we should have no problems winnings."
The playoffs are our goal and we have a chance to accomplish our goal Monday," he said.
In the first inning, Franklin Boykin reached base on a fielder's choice with two outs. He moved to second on a single by Chase McGhee. He then scored on a single by Norris Brooks.
In the fifth inning, Boykin tripled to center filed and then scored when the throw was mishandled and went into the dugout.
In the seventh inning, Josh Montel led off the inning with a single. With one out, McGhee hit a 2-run homerun.
Blue Devils 7 Greenville 2
In the first inning, Dereke Martin reached first on a bunt single. Josh Montel then laid down a sacrifice bunt that Martin reached third on. Franklin Boykin then doubled which scored Dereke.
Boykin scored on a ground ball by Chase McGhee when the throw from the second baseman was wide of first.
In the third inning, Boykin led off the inning with a single. He then stole second. He then scored on a single by Chris Graham with two outs.
In the sixth, Miles Smith was hit by a pitch. Jordan Drew then singled, moving Smith to third. Smith scored on a balk. John Brantley then singled, which moved Drew to third. Brantley then stole second. Martin doubled scoring Drew and Brantley. Montel then singled which scored Martin.
"We used timely hitting, great defense and good pitching to get the win tonight. With this win we are assured a spot in the playoffs," Escambia High School baseball coach Keith Nall said. "This will be the first trip to the playoffs for us in seven years. I am very proud of the guys for accomplishing this goal."
"I kept telling the guys that if they just play to their ability, good things will happen," Nall said. "Norris Brooks threw an excellent game on the mound. We had several guys step up and get key hits in situations where we needed them. Overall, I could not be happier for this team."
Blue Devils 2
Jay 6
In the seventh inning, Jordan Drew led off the inning with a triple. Drew then scored on a single Farrell Staples. Staples moved to third as Darius English reached on error. Staples then scored on a wild pitch.
"We did not hit as well as we had the game before against Greenville," Escambia High School baseball coach Keith Nall said. "After the big win in the first game, we had a little trouble getting going in the second. I was afraid of that because it happens alot after a big win. But as for now, I'll take it. Anytime you win to get in the playoffs, you'll take it and move on."
"We made a few mistakes early and could not overcome them," Nall said. "We showed a lot of heart in the last inning by scoring a couple of runs. We always encourage the guys to never give up and they showed it in the last inning up stepping up and scoring the runs.
"Right now, we're going to celebrate getting into the playoffs, but we have to get back to business this weekend. The county tournament is this weekend. We won the county tournament last year and we want to keep the trophy here. We do not want to give it up."
The county tournament will be in Atmore this Thursday, Friday and Saturday with two games each day. Thursday and Friday's games will start at 5 and 7 p.m. Saturday's games will be at 11 a.m. and 1: p.m. Escambia County will play the last game each day.
JV Blue Devils v. Flomaton
"The JV squad played a very good ballgame," Escambia County High School baseball coach Keith Nall said. "We came out swinging the bat well and continued it the whole game. We scored at least one run in ever inning. That is the best the JV has played all year."
"With all the rain that we have had, the JV has had about six games rained out," Nall said. "It is hard to try to reschedule JV games.
"This was their last game of the year. We did not get to play near as many games as we would have liked, but we cannot control mother nature."
"We still had a good JV year and some of these guys will more than likely step up with the varsity next year," Nall said.

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