ECHS suffers ninth consecutive loss, 9-6

Published 7:24 am Monday, April 18, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
Struggles continued Thursday in Flomaton for the Escambia County Blue Devils, who just can't seem to catch a break.
After leading area foe Gulf Shores 4-1 through five innings, the Blue Devils surrendered six runs in the top of the sixth inning and two more in the seventh before falling to the Dolphins, 9-6.
The Blue Devils (2-12) have now lost nine in a row.
Coach Keith Nall could not be reached for comment after the game.
Jonathon McNeil took the loss at pitcher for the Blue Devils, going all seven innings and striking out five. He allowed seven earned runs and 12 hits.
Home runs paced the ECHS attack with four hit in the game. Chris Graham contributed two of those, batting 3-for-4 on the day with three RBI and two runs scored. Brian Johnson and Jonathon McNeil also went deep in the game, that being Johnson's only base-hit on the day. He finished with one run scored and one RBI. McNeil finished 1-for-3 on the day with two runs scored and one RBI.
Other leading hitters for the Blue Devils were Chris Frost, who batted 2-for-3 with one RBI; Alvin Simmons, who notched a 2-for-4 day with a double and a run scored; and Farrell Staples, who batted 1-for-2 with a double.
The Blue Devils squared off against Jay Friday night in Flomaton, but that game was incomplete at press time.
Clarke Prep 8
The Escambia Academy Cougars snatched defeat from the jaws of victory Thursday in Canoe when, after leading 4-1 heading into the sixth inning, the Cougars lost to the Gators of Clarke Prep in nine innings.
Norris Brooks took the loss at pitcher after coming on in relief of Joe Drew, who struck out four in just over five innings of work.
Clarke Prep scored one run in the sixth inning to cut the EA lead to 4-2. After scoring three runs in the top of the seventh inning, EA had to come back to send it to extra innings.
Josh Montel led off the inning with a single, and was then sacrificed over by Cody Norton. John Brantley then reached on an error, which scored Montel and sent the game into extra innings.
The eighth inning remained scoreless, but the Gators erupted for three runs in the top half of the ninth. The Cougars rallied for one run in the bottom half of the inning, but time ran out after Jamie Young flew out to left field, stranding Matt Amerson on first base.
"We were in a position to win, but we just couldn't capitalize," Mike Harrell, head coach of the Cougars, said. "We didn't make that many mistakes, we just walked a couple of people and it hurt us like it always does."
Buckie Dawson and Norris Brooks led the offensive attack for the Cougars, nailing back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning. Dawson finished 1-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Brooks finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Josh Montel was 3-for-5 on the day with a run scored, and John Brantley finished 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored.
The loss all but clinched the area crown for the Gators, while EA will earn the second place spot if it can win one of its two remaining games with Sparta Academy.
"If we cut down on our mistakes we'll be all right," Harrell said. "It's just a matter of getting the big hits. They got a key big hit, and we didn't. Even though we lost, I was still real pleased with the effort."
The Cougars squared off in an early morning showdown Saturday with Fort Dale Academy, but that game was incomplete at press time.
Northview 8-7
Hickory Grove 3-2
The Chiefs of Northview hosted another opponent who came a long way to be in Bratt, Fla. Thursday.
The Chiefs squared off in a doubleheader against Hickory Grove Christian Academy from North Carolina, and made a long bus ride for the boys from the Tar Heel State a bit longer.
In game one of the doubleheader, the Chiefs trailed briefly, but used three-run third and fourth innings to pull away.
J.J. Cutler picked up the win at pitcher for the Chiefs, going all seven innings, allowing three runs off five hits, and striking out nine.
Northview pounded out 12 hits in the game. Travis Duncan supplied the fireworks, putting up only the second home run hit by a Chief batter this season. Duncan finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored to go along with his home run. Sean Little also batted 3-for-4 and scored two runs.
Other leading Chiefs were Nick Angeles, Jordan Cook, and Brandon Walker, all of whom batted 1-for-3. Angeles added a double and two RBI; Cook added one RBI; and Walker contributed another two RBI.
Game two of the doubleheader saw more of the same, as the Chiefs dominated the game throughout.
Jeremy Greenwell got the start for the Chiefs, and proceeded to take a no-hitter through six and one-thirds innings. After allowing a hit, Chiefs skipper Chris Poulsen brought in Greg Steadham to close things out.
Greenwell and Sean Little led the attack for the Chiefs. Greenwell helped his own cause with two hits in three at-bats, including a double and two runs scored. Little batted 1-for-4 on the day with two more runs scored.
The Chiefs have a few days off before facing Baker in a must-win match up Tuesday in Bratt.
Poulsen was pleased with the way his team had recovered from its losing skid.
"I feel good," Poulsen said. "The kids have been playing well offensively, defensively, and pitching hasn't been a problem all season. Everything seems to be coming together."

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