Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2008
DEMOPOLIS &045; On a cold, sloppy Friday night, the Tigers picked up the 10-5 win over Dallas County in their area opener to move to 2-7 on the year.
After third baseman Rob Rorie got the evening started off with a stunning play on a hard shot to the hot corner, DHS looked as if it may be past the defensive woes which have plagued it during the season’s early going. Those notions were largely put to rest in the second inning when Dallas County’s leadoff batter reached on an error. Later in the frame, he came around to score when a fly ball caromed off a Tiger outfielder’s glove. The error contributed to two other runs, giving Dallas County the 3-0 lead.
A seemingly deflated Demopolis team got its pick-me-up in the bottom of the third when junior catcher Jacob Kerby started the inning off with a double to deep right center field. A.J. Kemp was brought in to pinch run for the backstop and advanced to third following a wild pitch. Two pitches later, freshman Ben Pettus hit a grounder to the first baseman to bring in Kemp and cut the score to 3-1. With two outs in the inning, DHS proved it was not yet done when a Shelby Speegle walk was followed by John Mackey getting pelted by a pitch to put runners on first and second. First baseman Larry Dunn coaxed a walk in his at-bat to load the bases for Scott Cannon. Cannon eventually drew a walk, but not before consecutive wild pitches allowed Speegle and Mackey to cross the plate and tie the game.
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After giving up the three-spot in the third, Dallas County regained the lead in the fourth inning. Up 4-3, with a runner on second and one out, the Hornets’ rally was squashed when Mackey struck out the batter and Kemp gunned down the would-be base stealer at third to end the inning.
Alex Glass started the DHS fourth-inning rally with a one-out single to left. Pettus then followed with a walk and Drew Waldrop legged out an infield hit to load the bases for Shelby Speegle. In the longest at-bat of the evening, Speegle worked his way to a full-count before ripping a single down the first-base line to bring in Glass and Pettus and hand Demopolis the 5-4 lead.
Mackey was drilled by a pitch for the second time on the evening to again load the bases. Dunn followed with an RBI groundout to first to push the score to 6-4 in DHS’ favor. Cannon then stepped in and hit a groundball to the Hornet third baseman to apparently end the rally.
The third baseman’s throw to first was errant, allowing two more runs to score and Cannon to advance to third. He came in to score on a Palmer O’Neal double that put the Tigers up 9-4. The six-run inning saw 10 Tigers step to the plate in the most productive at-bat DHS has assembled thus far this season.
Dallas County parlayed a one-out triple into a run in the top of the fifth to make the score 9-5 before DHS retaliated in the home half of the inning.
Kemp again pinch-ran for Kerby who reached on an infield hit. A wild pitch, a sacrifice fly and an infield error allowed him to score his second run of the game to make it 10-5. After Speegle was issued a free pass, the umpires called the game due to the worsening field conditions.
Following the game, Ramer commended his team for their scrappy play and spoke highly of his pitcher.
Mackey will continue to offer his encouragement Monday night when the team hosts Wilcox Central at 5 p.m. in another area contest. The team’s weekend games with Hale County and Jackson were cancelled due to weather.