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Devils, Eagles split

By By Chandler Myers
After falling out of the playoff hunt with three consecutive losses to the Gulf Shores Dolphins, the Escambia County Blue Devils got back on the winning track by taking one of their two games against the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles Tuesday at Tom Byrne Park.
The Blue Devils (9-18, 3-6) were able to walk away with a 12-11 win in the first game, but were unable to sweep the doubleheader losing 13-7 in the second game.
Blue Devils Head Coach Jason Barnett said after a strong first game, pitching proved to be a game changer in the second contest.
Neal 13
ECHS 7
In the second game of the doubleheader between the Escambia County Blue Devils and the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles, lack of healthy pitchers proved to be a deciding factor as the Blue Eagles were able to pull out a 13-7 win.
The Blue Eagles jumped out on top of the Blue Devils in the first three innings by scoring three runs in the first inning, five runs in the second and three additional runs in the third inning.
During that span, the Blue Devils could put one run on the scoreboard.
After pulling Boatwright early in the game, Justin Stabler pitched the remaining innings he had available after starting the first game of the doubleheader. Once his innings were up, Barnett put in Marshall Rolin. Together the two pitchers helped keep the Blue Eagles from making the score worse.
Barnett said his relief pitchers did a good job of keeping them from adding even more runs on the W.S. Neal.
Down 11-1 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, the Blue Devils received some much-needed offense as they scored four runs and closed the gap to six runs.
They would allow two more runs by the Blue Eagles in the top of the sixth to give them 13, but Atmore was unable to pull off a comeback as they could only get two more runners around the basepath ending the game 13-7.
ECHS 12
Neal 11
Escambia County High School and W.S. Neal battled in a tightly contested match up Tuesday at Tom Byrne Park.
The opening game of the doubleheader between the county rivals proved to be a high-scoring affair as the two teams combined for 23 runs and the Blue Devils were able to pick up their ninth win of the season defeating the Blue Eagles 12-11.
The Blue Devils opened the game strong holding the Blue Eagles scoreless in the first two innings, while jumping out to a 5-0 lead with two runs in the first inning and three in the second.
Neal finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the third as they cut the Blue Devils’ lead to two runs and made the score 5-4 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
The Blue Devils were able to extend their lead in the bottom half of the fourth inning adding four runs to make the score 9-4.
The game then continued as a back-and-forth contest with the Blue Eagles adding five runs to tie the game at nine in the top of the fifth, while the Blue Devils again took the lead 11-9 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Blue Eagles from East Brewton tied the game at 11 in the top of the seventh, but the top of the Blue Devils’ order came up to the bat in the bottom of the seventh with the game-winning run coming across the plate.
Barnett said it was a good game that helped his team get one step closer to accomplishing a goal.
On the other side of the field, Neal coach Coy Campbell said that his team had one of their worst performances of the year.
See Wednesday’s edition of The Atmore Advance for ECHS senior night coverage including photos.