Cougars finish perfect in tourney

Published 6:47 am Wednesday, April 6, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
The Escambia Academy Cougars made a long trip worthwhile Saturday, traveling to Tuscaloosa and winning two games in the Tuscaloosa Academy Tournament.
The Cougars were not official entrants in the tournament, according to Head Coach Mike Harrell.
"They needed a team to fill a couple of games in the tournament," Harrell said. "Us and South Choctaw filled those spots. We played two games, everyone else played three."
Harrell was pleased with the overall performance of his team during the tournament, but felt they could have played better.
"Despite winning, I felt like we could have played a lot better," he said. "We made a lot of errors, a lot of base-running mistakes, and we walked a lot of people. It cost us a lot of runs, but we stepped it up and came through. Bruce Smith and Oliver Petty really stepped up and played well for us. If they play that well we'll be a tough team to beat."
Southern 8
The Cougars first faced Southern Academy out of Greensboro. EA overcame several costly errors to win, 9-8.
Buckie Dawson started for the Cougars, before Norris Brooks came on in relief.
Leading hitters for the Cougars were Cody Norton, who went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and scored two runs. Matt Amerson finished a perfect 2-for-2 with a double and scored a run; Norris Brooks went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Oliver Petty legged out a triple, drove in two runs, picked up two walks and scored a run in one official plate appearance. Nick McGhee finished the day 1-for-4 and Bruce Smith was 1-for-3 with a double.
The game was tied going into the bottom of the sixth inning, when Joe Drew led off with a walk. After a Nick McGhee strikeout, Bruce Smith doubled in the winning run.
South Choctaw 6
The Cougars went on to face South Choctaw Academy out of Butler later in the afternoon.
Another wild game produced more thrilling late-inning heroics.
The Cougars trailed 6-3 heading into the fifth inning, when they erupted to score six runs.
Leading hitters for the Cougars were Norris Brooks, who hit 1-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored; Joe Drew, 1-for-3 with a run scored; Oliver Petty, batting 2-for-3 with an RBI; Nick McGhee, who hit 3-for-3 with an RBI, a double, and a run scored; and Bruce Smith, who hit 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Harrell was encouraged by his team's progress.
"We're finally coming together as a team," Harrell said. "We've still got a lot of work to do. We've had a lot of good pitching performances, and when we start cutting down on walks, errors, and base-running mistakes, we'll be a pretty tough team then."

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