Devils end year with win

Published 1:35 am Wednesday, April 26, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
It was a hot spring day, but April 22 at the T.R. Miller baseball field saw Frosty temperatures as the Escambia County Blue Devils squared off against the W.S. Neal Eagles in the Escambia County Tournament.
Senior second baseman Chris Frost led the Devils in the team's 10-8 victory in the final game of the season. Frost was 2-for-4 in the game with his first career home run, a double and three RBI.
Frost said he was dialed in at the plate.
"I came out here today and it felt different," he said. "I was ready to play and to hit the ball like that is a great way to finish off the season and my career here at Escambia County High School. I was going to cry anyways, but if we would have lost it would have been worse."
The chilly home run came in the top of the fifth inning, increasing the Blue Devils lead to 9-3.
The Eagles scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to close the gap to 9-7. ECHS scored one in the sixth inning and Neal retaliated with one in their half to bring the score to 10-8.
Blue Devils' pitcher Jonathon McNeil threw a complete game for the win. He notched 12 strikeouts and only three walks. ECHS head coach Keith Nall said he thought McNeil did great.
"He threw the ball well and I was proud of his effort," Nall said. "Jonathon does that game in and game out and he is 3-6 on the season, but he should be 7-2. But we have not played defense behind him. He always does his job, but we just couldn't get it done for him."
Nall said he is glad to have McNeil returning for next year, along with fellow hurler Kevin Green. He said the team has a lot of holes to fill in the lineup, but the core pitching staff is coming back next year.
McNeil was also pleased with how he pitched and he said he was glad to get a win.
"I kept the ball low and I felt good tonight," he said. "I am glad we could get a win in the final game of the season, especially for the seniors."
Frost and McNeil were given a special honor following the win over Neal; they were both named to the All-Tournament Team.
Nall said he wishes the Devils had some more games to play because they have been playing good baseball recently.
"I wish this was not the last one because for the last four or five games we have played well," he said. "I am proud of how they fought to win in the last one because they could have laid down and given up, but they worked hard for the win. And that is a good sign for next year."
Big Blue defeated Neal Saturday and lost two close games to Flomaton and Miller on Thursday and Friday. They also defeated Flomaton last Tuesday.
The Blue Devils as a team finished third in the tournament with a 1-2 record and Flomaton High School won the tournament in a tiebreaker over T.R. Miller. Flomaton defeated Miller and both schools held a 2-1 record.
Alvin Simmons went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI before injuring his hand sliding into third base in the third inning. Mitchell Brown was 1-for-2 with one RBI, Justin Rolin was 1-for-3 with two RBI and Anthony Matthews was 1-for-4.
On Friday against T.R. Miller the Blue Devils lost 6-4 in another close game. Frost was 2-for-4 in that game as well. Matthews was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Corey Flowers was 3-for-4 with one RBI. Charles Dailey was 1-for-3 and Darius English was 1-for-1 with a home run.
Kevin Green toed the mound for Big Blue and threw a complete game, striking out five batters and walking none. He allowed six runs on nine hits.
Against Flomaton in the opening game of the tournament on Thursday, the Blue Devils lost 5-3.
Frost again led the Devils, going 1-for-4 with two RBI. Flowers was 1-for-3. Simmons was 1-for-2 with one RBI and Brown was 1-for-2.
Dailey took the ball for Big Blue on the rubber, allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits and striking out two batters.

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