Cougars stay hot, make Final Four

Published 2:03 am Monday, May 8, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
Repeat performances are always a good thing, especially when it comes to athletics. The Escambia Academy Cougars baseball team had a repeat performance last week.
They took two of three games from Meadowview Christian Academy in the first round of the AISA state playoffs to advance to the Final Four.
EA, winners of six of their previous seven games, won the opening game May 3 13-6 on the arm of Joe Drew. He pitched a complete game and struck out four batters while only walking three. He allowed six runs on five hits.
Bruce Smith led the Cougars at the plate by going 4-for-5. Tyler Brown was 3-for-4 with a walk. Austin Eicher was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Ethan Brooks and Cody Norton were both 2-for-3 with a walk. Dustin Hall was 2-for-4 with a triple and a walk.
The Cougars piled up 18 hits as a team and head coach Mitch Hughes was happy with the team's effort.
"We played great defense and we hit the ball well," he said. "I was excited at how well we hit the ball."
The Cougars lost the second game Wednesday 14-10. Norton and Eicher were the pitchers on the mound for EA. Norton threw 4.2 innings and allowed 10 runs on six hits and walked eight batters. Eicher walked five and allowed four runs.
"That was a bad game," Hughes said. "We hit the ball well, but our defense wasn't there."
At the plate Norton led the Cougars, going 2-for-4 with two doubles. John Brantley was 2-for-4 with a double. Smith was 2-for-4.
EA entered the Final Four with a 10-0 stomping of Meadowview on Thursday. Brown took the ball for EA and pitched a complete game. He allowed eight hits, struck out two and walked eight.
"He gets a lot of groundouts and he was able to work himself out of a couple jams," Hughes said. "We shut them down in the last inning to grab the win."
EA had 12 hits at the plate, with Brantley and Dean going 2-for-4 and Brooks going 3-for-5.
"The guys just wanted it bad," Hughes said. "Their confidence was high and they are excited to continue playing baseball."
EA beat Jackson 8-6 in a one-game playoff April 27 to get into the playoffs.
The Cougars travel to Selma on Thursday to face either Patrician or Clarke Prep and the game will be played at Block Park. The Final Four is double elimination and the Cougars have the possibility to play five games.
In softball action
The Lady Cougars faced Patrician in the first round of the AISA softball state playoffs Friday in Montgomery. EA then played another game later that day and the results from these games will be in a future issue of the Advance.
On April 28 the Lady Cougars faced Sparta and lost 7-4. Stacey Gibbs was again the pitcher for EA and she went six innings, allowing seven runs on six hits. She struck out four batters and walked two.
Ashley Smith led EA at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Lori Bonds was 2-for-3 and Cynthia Allen was 1-for-3 with one RBI.
"It was a game that we were in the hunt for all game, but we made a costly error in the fifth inning," EA head coach Darrell Jackson said. "We played well enough to win and hats off to Faith, who has a high-caliber team. And I was proud of how our girls never quit."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox