Mills downs Vols
By By Matthew Nascone
Junior Nick Mills picked up his first win of the season in decisive fashion Monday evening on the road against Monroe Academy, 5-1.
Mills (1-2) pitched a complete game, allowed one run on five hits, struck out seven Volunteers and walked two for the win.
"That was one of the best games I have seen on the mound in a long time," EA head coach Heath Gibson said. "I am so proud of how Nick pitched tonight."
The Cougars (4-7, 1-0 AISA Class AA, Area 1) grabbed what has eluded them all season Monday, a winning streak.
"We now have won two-in-a-row and it would be great if we can keep it up," Gibson said. "We need to keep building on it, but it seems like these guys are beginning to understand what it takes to win ball games."
The Cougars laced Monroe for 13 hits and only had three strikeouts at the plate. That is what Gibson said has been missing all year long.
"The guys decided to wake up the bats this game," he said. "We started to get hits when we needed them and we were producing runs."
The Cougars opened the scoring in the top of the second inning, after Mills struck out two in the bottom of the first inning. EA loaded the bases beginning with senior second baseman Tyler Brown opening the inning with a hit, followed by a hit by freshman Keaton Maher and sophomore third baseman James White reached on an error.
Brown was stopped at home on a stolen base attempt, but freshman Nick Flowers knocked in Maher with a single for a 1-0 EA lead.
Brown finished the game 4-for-4 with one run scored. Maher was 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.
"Tyler Brown is on fire," Gibson said. "He is 7-for-10 the last three games and I just hope he stays hot for us."
Monroe tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning on a passed ball, but the Cougars answered with one run in the fourth inning for a 2-1 lead. Brown led the inning off with a single and stole second, Maher had another single and Mills drove Brown in with a single.
In the fifth inning, the Cougars opened the lead to 4-1. Brown hit a line drive to left field to score sophomore right fielder Nate Smith for the first run, and Maher had a sacrifice fly to score Dean for the 4-1 lead.
Dean finished the game 1-for-4 with two runs scored.
Monroe threatened with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning, but Mills got out of trouble. EA sophomore third baseman James White drove in Dean on a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning and Mills finished the Volunteers off in the bottom of the inning.
Mills, Flowers, Smith and senior catcher Ethan Brooks each went 1-for-3 and Smith had one run scored. Senior center fielder Dustin Hall was 2-for-4.
Cougars 16 Wilcox 3
The Cougars won their opening AISA Class AA, Area 1 game against Wilcox Academy in decisive fashion March 14, 16-3.
"We hit the ball real good and played well defensively," Gibson said. "We cut out the mental mistakes and that is why we won."
Brown (2-3) went the distance in the 10-run, mercy-rule shortened game, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out three Wildcats and walked two.
Dean was 1-for-1 at the plate with two runs scored, one RBI, two walks, four stolen bases and one sacrifice. Brown was 2-for-4 with one home run, three RBIs, three runs scored and two stolen bases.
Maher was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Sophomore Cameron McGhee was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBIs and three stolen bases. Hall was 1-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBIs and three stolen bases.
The Cougars host Southern Academy tomorrow beginning at 3:30 p.m.
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