Escambia Academy baseball starts 2-2

Published 5:21 am Wednesday, March 9, 2005

By Staff
Tim Cottrell
The Escambia Academy Cougar baseball team may have had a later start than some local teams, but they attempted to make up for lost time over the weekend.
The Cougars travelled to Butler, Ala., Friday and Saturday to compete in the Patrician Academy Tournament. The Cougars played three games in the two days, and lost in the final to take home second place. The Cougars also faced Ft. Dale Academy Monday in Greenville.
Cougar coach Mike Harrell was pleased with his team's performance in the tournament.
"(With) the overall look and way we performed, I felt like we were the (best) team there," Harrell said. "I was very happy with the defense, we probably only made two errors the whole tournament."
EA 4,
Patrician 1
The Cougars got the 2005 season started with a well-played victory over Patrician.
After pitcher Norris Brooks spotted Patrician a 1-0 lead in the first inning, they were held scoreless the rest of the way.
The game remained 1-0 until the third inning, when Brandon Sanspree singled to lead off the inning. Cody Norton followed with a walk that put two men on-base. Sanspree scored on a Josh Montel groundout and Norton scored on a John Brantley sacrifice fly to give the Cougars a 2-1 lead.
Matt Amerson lead off the fourth inning with a single and then scored off a Drew Shamblin double. Shamblin stole third base during the throw home. Josh Montel drove Shamblin in with a double.
Norris Brooks went the distance for the Cougars, striking out six and walking two.
"I was pleased with the way we played with not as much practice," Harrell said. "The team made some plays and I was really pleased with the way the middle of our infield played. Norris kept us in the game."
EA 12,
Lamar (Miss.) 9
The Cougars stayed in Butler for a Saturday showdown with Lamar Academy of Meridian, Miss.
In a game that exceeded the time-limit for games played in the tournament, the Cougars came out on top.
"They're not supposed to play over the hour-and-a-half time limit," Harrell said. "For some reason they let us play an extra twenty minutes to finish an inning."
The Cougars were the visiting team for the contest, and lead off the first inning by scoring 12 runs. The first 11 men to come to the plate scored.
The Cougars did not score again in the game.
Lamar Academy answered with five runs of its own in the bottom of the first.
Lamar scored four more runs in the next three innings, but the game was called in the fifth.
Buckie Dawson started the game for the Cougars, but recorded no outs before being replaced by Joe Drew. Drew pitched the rest of the way, picking up the win.
Josh Montel was 1-2 for the Cougars, scoring two runs. Jon Brantley was 3-3 with a double and an RBI. Matt Amerson was 1-3 with a run scored. Oliver Petty batted 2-3, with an RBI and two runs scored. Norris Brooks batted 1-3 and scored a run. Buckie Dawson was 0-0 with a run scored. Joe Drew hit 1-2 for the Cougars. Drew Shamblin was 1-2 with two RBI and a double. Nick McGhee batted 1-2 with a run scored. Cody Norton was 0-2 with a run scored.
"Joe Drew really set the tone for us," Harrell said. "He came in and threw strikes. The kids hung in there and played good defense. Both teams hit the ball well and I thought it was a good game for both teams."
Monroe 12,
In the championship game of the Patrician Academy Tournament, the Cougars took on Monroe Academy, who had received a first-round bye in the tournament.
"That was our third game and only their second," Harrell said. "They still had some pitchers and we had exhausted ours."
The Cougars live bats from the earlier Saturday game against Lamar failed to show up for this contest.
Monroe scored two runs in the second inning and one in the third to take a 3-0 lead over the Cougars.
The Cougars then answered in the fourth with a Nick McGhee singled. Brandon Sanspree followed with another single, and Cody Norton doubled in McGhee. Josh Montel came up next and singled in Sanspree.
Monroe, however, was not done. After scoring two runs in the fourth, they added two in the fifth and five in the sixth to provide the winning margin.
Buckie Dawson started again for the Cougars, picking up the loss. Matt Amerson and Oliver Petty also put in time on the mound.
Josh Montel batted 1-3 with an RBI. John Brantley was also 1-3. J.R. Hall batted 1-2 with a double. Nick McGhee was 1-2 with a run scored, as was Brandon Sanspree.
"We hung in there," Harrell said. "We just ran out of pitching."
Ft. Dale 10
The Cougars travelled to the Greenville area Monday afternoon to face Ft. Dale Academy. They found that the grass may not be greener in Greenville.
"I think we underestimated ourselves," said Harrell. "I thought we had the better team. Their pitched pitched really well. Cody (Norton) pitched well but we stayed in there."
The Cougars spotted Ft. Dale a 9-0 lead before finally breaking through in the fifth inning. Joe Drew hit a solo home run to get the Cougars on the board. Ft. Dale would score another run before the Cougars added one run in the seventh after a series of singles by Norris Brooks, Brandon Sanspree, and Cody Norton.
Cody Norton took the loss at pitcher for the Cougars.
John Brantley was 1-3 for the Cougars. Matt Amerson was 1-1 with a walk. Norris Brooks was 1-2 with a stolen base and a run scored. Joe Drew was 1-2 with a solo home run. Brandon Sanspree was 1-1 with a stolen base.
The Cougars took on Monroe Academy Tuesday afternoon in Canoe, but that game was incomplete at press time.

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