Escambia County, Escambia Academy have rough week on baseball diamond

Published 6:14 am Monday, March 28, 2005

By Staff
Tim Cottrell
Hard times have fallen on area hardballers.
The Escambia County Blue Devils traveled to Mobile Tuesday to take on area foe UMS-Wright. The long trip produced little, as ECHS came home after falling 14-2 to the Bulldogs in a five-inning game.
"We did not play very well against UMS," Blue Devil coach Keith Nall said. "We were very flat from the start."
The Bulldogs scored three runs in the first inning, followed by four more in the second to take an early 7-0 lead.
"They jumped on us early," Nall said. "With us being flat, the early lead by them really hurt."
The Blue Devils did respond with two runs in the third inning. Brian Johnson and Jonathon McNeil scored the runs for the Blue Devils, and Chris Graham drove one across the plate.
The Bulldogs answered with two runs in the bottom of the third and five in the bottom of the fourth to enforce the 10-run rule ending to the game.
Nall said his team could have performed better.
"Taking nothing away from UMS, we just did not play the way we have the last few games. UMS is a very good ball club. We just did not play up to our ability and it showed."
McNeil took the loss at pitcher for the Blue Devils, throwing two innings, giving up seven runs (five of which were earned), allowing nine hits, walking one, and striking out one. Skylar Rolin came on in relief and also allowed seven runs, three of which were earned. He allowed five hits, struck out one, and didn't surrender a walk.
Leading hitters for the Blue Devils were Corey Flowers, who batted 1-for-2 with a double and also reached on an error; Graham hit 1-for-3 and knocked in one run; Johnson was 0-for-2 and scored a run; and McNeil batted 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.
Nall said he put his team on notice following the game.
"I told the kids that we have a little over four weeks left in the season and that they need to step up and start playing the way I know they are capable of playing."
The Blue Devils will face off against Flomaton Tuesday.
Mobile Christian 10
The Cougars of Escambia Academy also traveled to Mobile Tuesday afternoon to take on Mobile Christian Academy. The error-prone Cougars fell, despite a strong performance at the plate.
"We played much better offensively," Cougars coach Mike Harrell said. "We just didn't show up defensively. We made a lot of errors that cost us a lot of runs."
Mobile Christian scored six runs in the first two innings, largely due to errors by the Cougars. The Cougars drew blood in the top of the second when Norris Brooks delivered a solo home run. Cody Norton led off the inning with a single, and after advancing around to third he was driven in by Drew Shamblin. Joe Drew also hit a single in the inning, and scored after being forced in by a Brandon Sanspree walk.
After three innings, the score stood at 7-3 Mobile Christian.
The top of the fourth saw fireworks galore. Josh Montel led off the inning with a single, and stole second base. After a Cody Norton strikeout, Jon Brantley was walked and Oliver Petty was hit by a pitch. Drew then struck out, and was followed by Brooks. Brooks crushed a 2-0 pitch to right-center for a grand slam, tying the game at seven.
That was as close as the Cougars would get however, as Mobile added two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to provide the winning margin.
Drew suffered the loss on the mound.
Leading hitters for the Cougars were Josh Montel, 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored; Cody Norton, 2-for-5 with a run scored; Jon Brantley, 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored; Oliver Petty, 0-for-2 with a run scored; Joe Drew, 1-for-4 with a run scored; Brooks, 2-3 with two home runs, five RBI, two runs scored, and a walk; Drew Shamblin, 2-for-4 with an RBI; and Brandon Sanspree, 0-for-2 with an RBI and two walks.
Harrell was gearing up Thursday for the first area contest of the season for the Cougars.
"I feel pretty good going into the game against Jackson," Harrell said. "The kids have worked hard and gotten focused. Almost half the season is done and it's good that we've had until now to get our first real test."

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