Cougars sweep Russell Christian in 1st round
Escambia Academy put together some good pitching and hitting in a 9-0 and 13-11 sweep over Russell Christian Academy (Mississippi) in the AISA Class 2A Regional Quarterfinals in Canoe on April 21.
Cougars senior Drew Parker pitched a gem in the first game of the best of three series, allowing five hits, no runs and striking out 12 in a complete game. He allowed no walks in the victory.
During both games, EA’s bats came alive as the Cougars tallied 18 hits.
“In the first game, (Drew) Parker was just outstanding,” EA baseball coach John Fields said. “I thought our hitting has been the best it’s been in 10 games. We hit the ball real well. Everybody played hard and gutted it out.”
Fields said during the second game, EA’s defense played well.
“We had to move some folks around. (Jason) Davis came in and through the first three innings, he had thrown something like 22-23 pitches,” he said. “The defense just stepped up and did a really good job, especially the middle infield. Our catcher, Kameron (Bowens), he was in a tough spot. He wasn’t playing in his normal spot. Our back up (Kainoa Gumapac) got hurt (back) while as the designated hitter in the first game. (Bowens) did a great job back there and worked hard.”
With the wins, the Cougars advance to the regional semifinals, where they will travel to face Macon East in Montgomery tomorrow, Thurs., April 27. Macon East had a bye in the first round.
The Cougars are familiar with the Knights as they played them earlier this year. EA lost by one run in the last inning to the Montgomery school.
“We played our best ball game all year against them and still lost,” Fields said. “We’ve got a lot to work on this week. The kids need to be proud of this win, but we need to go up to Macon East and be ready because those sapsuckers are good. They are really good.”
EA improved to 12-13 on the season.
EA 13, RC 11
Escambia Academy’s Chase Bell hit a three-run double in the top of the second inning; and Ryan Johnson went 3-for-5 with two triples, a single, two runs and two RBIs to lead the Cougars in the win.
Johnson got the scoring going in the second with an RBI single that score Bryant Quimby, who reached on an error. Fred Flavors then scored on an RBI single from Davis.
Jackson Bonner then walked to load the bases with two outs.
Bell then unloaded on an 0-and-2 count to left center to clear the bases.
Johnson added his first triple of the game in the top of the third, and scored on a Parker ground-rule double. Johnson added his second triple in the sixth, scoring Heath Sheldt who reached on a single.
Trailing 12-3 in the fifth inning, the Mississippi school tacked on four runs to keep the Cougars honest. Drew Tayler hit a two-run single, and Logan Sayers hit an RBI single, which was followed by an RBI double from Kyle Ingram.
Parker scored on a stolen base in the fifth inning, and after Johnson hit in Sheldt in the sixth, the Cougars led 13-7.
RC didn’t go quietly as the Warriors added four runs in the bottom of the seventh on RBIs from Ryley Reynolds and Conner Haygood. Sayers also added a run in the seventh.
Davis earned the win for EA, pitching 6.0 innings. He allowed seven runs on nine hits. Quimby earned the save.
Taylor went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead RC.
EA 9, RC 0
The Cougars scored one run in the first inning, two in the second, and three each in the fifth and sixth innings.
Sheldt went 2-for-3 with one RBI and scored a run to lead EA; Quimby went 2-for-3 with an RBI; Parker went 1-for-4 with two RBIs; Bonner went 2-for-4 with an RBI; and Bell went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Taylor went 2-for-3 and Jared McMullen went 2-for-4 to lead RC.