ECHS closes season with loss at Monroe

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Late season battles summed up the result of the Escambia County Blue Devils baseball season, as they fell in their final two games Friday in Monroeville.

The Blue Devils finished the season 3-23, but found improvements in their final 15 games.

At Monroe County, the Blue Devils battled to the very end coming up short 18-15 in the second game of a doubleheader and 14-12 in the first game.

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The offense was there, but youthful mistakes hurt the chances for wins, Blue Devils Head Baseball Coach Andy Lambert said.

“We hit the ball really well,” he said. “We have been hitting much better the last few games, but our pitchers and defense still being so young cost us. We made some mistakes, but we battled and only lost tthose games by a few runs combined.”

The results of the final two games proved to Lambert that changes in talent have been made on his roster.

When looking at his roster, the benefit for Lambert is knowing that almost his entire starting line up returns next season, he said.

“I believe our entire team has come a long way,” he said. “This is a group of guys that we will have back next season, and because we have are so young, our guys will have a lot of playing experience that will carry over to next year.”

Improvements by the Blue Devils have been seen at each position and at the plate.

Early in the season, ECHS had trouble competing with their opponents, but by the end of the eason, they consistently scored runs.
Examining players has also been something Lambert has done in the final weeks of the season.

Picking out one ore two players that have stepped up their game is difficult, he said.

“A hand full of guys have improved,” he said. “Guys like Malcolm Black, Matthew Quimby, Imani Gray and Winston Barron have stepped up their talent. It’s been like that throughout our roster.”

Now, the team will focus on what to do to improve on their three-win season.

Taking advantage of the summer and days they are allowed to work will be the focus Lambert takes, he said.

“It’s going to take a lot of work in the off season,” he said. “We need to get all of these guys in the weight room and work hard this summer. We have seven days that we can use, so we have the opportunity to grow.”

Monroe 18, ECHS 15
Malcolm Black and Winston Barron were the offensive leaders for the Escambia County Blue Devils in their season-ending loss to the Monroe County Tigers.

Black went 2-for-5 with four runs scored, while Barron was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, but it wasn’t enough, as the Blue Devils fell 18-15 in Monroeville.

Also scoring runs were Justin Davis (1-for-4, R), Matthe Quimby (2-for-4, R), A.J. Matthews (2-for-4, R), Imani Gray (1-for-4, 2R) and Rickey Reed (1-for-4, 2R).

Monroe 14, ECHS 12
Justin Davis had two hits and scored two runs in the Escambia County Blue Devils’ 14-12 loss to the Monroe County Tigers last Friday in Monroeville.

The Blue Devils fought for the win, but came up just short with the team unable to record any runs in their final turn at the plate.

Monroe 10, ECHS 3
Escambia County held an early lead over the Monroe County Tigers, but a fourth-inning rally put the game in the Tigers favor, as they won 10-3 last Thursday in Atmore.

ECHS 7, Hillcrest 3
The Blue Devils earned their third win of the season last Tuesday at home against the Hillcrest Jaguars.

Winston Barron dominated for ECHS on the mound recording eight strikeouts, as the Blue Devils won 7-3.