Cougars suffer tough losses

Published 11:47 pm Monday, March 20, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
After two tough losses at home the Escambia Academy baseball Cougars look forward to the new week bringing success. The Cougars lost 5-4 to Wilcox Monday and 11-4 to Cottage Hill Tuesday, but head coach Mitch Hughes said he is ready to start area play.
"We have our first area game on Thursday," Hughes said. "And we are looking forward to getting that underway."
Against Cottage Hill, Hughes said the Cougars (1-6) saw four pitchers, two right-handers and two left-handers.
"Once we started hitting the righty, he brought in the lefty," he said. "And then we would start to hit him, so he brought the other righty in and then the other lefty. We were never able to put together a solid string of hits because they kept us off balance."
Hughes said his guys did all right with the stick, besides facing four pitchers. The Cougars racked up 11 hits in the loss.
Dustin Hall led the Cougars at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk and Hughes said he was happy with Hall's performance.
Hughes said the enthusiasm before the game was there, but the execution in the game was what was not. Hughes said he was proud of the overall effort, however.
"We have to work on the little things like covering the right bags and getting in line for our relay throws," Hughes said.
Joe Drew (0-3) picked up the loss for EA as he threw three innings and was taken out before the fourth inning due to elbow soreness. Tyler Brown pitched the rest of the game for the Cougars.
Cody Norton (1-3) threw four strong innings for the Cougars, but was saddled with the 5-4 loss against Wilcox.
"Cody pitched well," Hughes said.
Brown came in for Norton in the fifth inning and struck out five of the eight batters he faced to keep the Cougars within striking distance of a win.
"Tyler placed the ball well and he has wicked off-speed pitches and that is what fooled the batters, because Cody throws harder than Tyler," Hughes said.
The Cougars took a 4-3 lead into a rain delay after the fourth inning and when the action resumed Hughes said his guys could not stop a two-run fifth inning by Wilcox.
"We had to try and fight our way out of that situation and we were not able to do it," Hughes said. "But we are getting better and I can see that every day in practice."
Hall again led the Cougars at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and Jon Dean was also 2-for-4.
The Cougars next game is Tuesday, as they travel to square off with Mobile Christian.

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