Chiefs survive Devils
Published 5:41 am Wednesday, March 16, 2005
By By Tim Cottrell
The Atmore area braced for a showdown Friday night when the Blue Devils of Escambia County traveled to Molino to take on the Chiefs of Northview High School. The fans got their money's worth when Northview won 4-3 in an extra-inning duel.
It was the second one-run game in as many days for both teams. Escambia County had defeated Jay 7-6 and Northview had fallen to Flomaton 5-4 the previous night.
"We probably played our best game of the year," said Blue Devil coach Keith Nall. "It was a well-played game by both teams. It was the kind of game that you like to be involved in."
Northview head coach Chris Paulsen agreed with Nall's sentiment.
"We came out on the right side of this one," Paulsen said when asked about the exciting game. "These are always fun, but it's a lot more fun when you win them."
Jeremy Greenwell picked up the win for the Chiefs in relief, pitching 3 2/3 innings. Jonathon McNeil took the loss for the Blue Devils, pitching 7 2/3 innings and striking out 11.
"It was another heartbreaking loss for us," Nall said. "This is the second time this year we have lost in extra innings. We had our chances to win but could not get the run we needed."
Paulsen was pleased with his pitching during the game.
"Greg (Steadham, who started the game at pitcher) kept us in the game early," Paulsen said. "Jeremy showed us some things coming out there and shutting them down."
Paulsen also credited his team's base-running with the win.
"We ran the bases aggressively," he said. "It was a big factor in the game. I think we stole five bases. We made a couple of errors, but overall we did pretty well."
Both coaches were pleased with the performance of their teams.
"We have played two very good games in a row," Nall said. "I hope we are starting to come together now. I told the kids that if they will continue to play the way they have the last two games, the wins will come."
"We seem to be getting worse in the field," Paulsen said. "But our pitching has kept us in a lot of games and our bats are starting to come alive."
The Chiefs traveled to Washington High School Tuesday and the Blue Devils traveled to Gulf Shores for an area contest with the Dolphins. Both games were incomplete at press time.
Wilcox 4, EA 1
The Escambia Academy Cougar baseball team was unable to overcome a strong pitching performance from Wilcox Academy and a long line of stranded Cougar base runners in a 4-1 loss Monday afternoon in Canoe.
The loss dropped the Cougars to 3-3 on the season.
"We left a lot of runners on base (nine total)," said Cougar coach Mike Harrell. "We just couldn't get them in there. Their pitcher had a great game and we just never could catch up."
Norris Brooks took the loss for EA, pitching a complete game and striking out nine while only allowing five hits.
Buckie Dawson lead the Cougar batters, hitting 2-3. Cody Norton batted 2-4, Josh Montel was 1-3 with a walk, and Joe Drew was 1-1 after pinch-hitting.
Harrell said he expects better things from his team in the future.
"We're a talented bunch," Harrell said. "We've got to work harder and come out with confidence. I think part of it is we're only returning two starters from last year and a lot of our guys are still learning their positions. With a little more practice I think we'll be a competitive team."