Blue Devils drop opener at regional playoffs
Published 4:40 am Wednesday, April 30, 2003
The Escambia High School Blue Devils played Thompson on the road in the first round of the playoffs. The local team took a tie score through their half of the fifth inning, but a late Thompson rally in the fifth inning downed the Devils by a final score of 7-2.
"We made a good showing in the first round of the playoffs," head coach Keith Nall said. "We played a pretty good game. We were in the game the whole way. Except for the few mistakes we made in the last couple of innings, I would say we played an excellent game."
In the fourth inning, Dereke Martin reached first on a bunt single. He moved to secondwhen Josh Montel reached on an error. Franklin Boykin then laid down a bunt that moved Martin to third and Montel to second. Norris Brooks then grounded to short and Martin beat the throw home.
"I was extremely proud of the way our guys performed today," Nall said. "At first we seemed a little nervous, but we found our composure and showed that we belonged in the playoffs."
In the fifth inning, Josh Brantley reached first on an error. Miles Smith sacrificed Brantley over to second. Chase McGhee grounded out, but Brantley was able to advance to third before scoring on a wild pitch.
"We faced probably the best pitcher we faced all year," Nall said. "Their guy threw the ball well. He mixed up his pitches and hit spots all night long."
The Blue Devils were led offensively by Boykin, who was 1-for-2 with a sacrifice and Martin, who was 1-for-3 at the plate.
Norris Brooks pitched a copmlete game, giving up nine hits and striking out three.
"Norris Brooks threw an excellent ballgame on the mound," Nall said. "He only gave up one earned run during the game.
"Overall this year has been successful. Getting into the playoffs was a big accomplishment for us. With only two seniors graduating, I look for next year to be a very good eyar for us. With all the returing players getting a taste of the playoffs, I just hopes it's something that they will want again. I told them, the further into the playoffs you go,t he sweeter that taste gets.