Gaining momentum: Demopolis High gets ready for playoffs by beating Northridge 3-1

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; After honoring its six seniors and their families, the varsity baseball Tigers ended the regular season on a high note by getting a gritty 3-1 victory over Northridge High.

The Tigers relied on a patchwork pitching performance, utilizing six pitchers over seven innings to get the job done.

Ramer entered the game intending to pitch each player for an inning, effectively saving his full arsenal of arms for the weekend showdown with Eufaula.

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Senior John Mackey got the start, recording a 1-2-3 first inning before giving way to junior Shelby Speegle, who matched the effort in the second. Sophomore Cameron Barger pitched into and out of trouble in the third while Scott Cannon toed the rubber in the fourth. Trey Oates retired the side in the fifth before senior Rob Rorie finished the night out by holding the visiting team at bay in the sixth and seventh innings.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the second when senior Drew Waldrop parlayed a single into a score, capitalizing on Jacob Kerby&8217;s run-producing hit. That lead lasted less than two innings as the Jaguars picked up a run in the fourth when an errant pickoff attempt trickled into left field, allowing Northridge to tie the game.

The game remained deadlocked until the bottom of the sixth when Rorie drew a one-out walk. Waldrop followed with his second single of the game before Kerby ripped a double into right field, plating two and handing Demopolis the lead.

Rorie relied on a stellar defensive effort, highlighted by a breathtaking over-the-shoulder diving catch from senior second baseman Palmer O&8217;Neal, to shut down the Jaguars in the seventh and seal the win.

The victory ends the Tigers&8217; regular season at 12-16, a marked improvement over their 2-11 start.

The coach&8217;s assessment does not appear to be lost on his team, which will spend the next few days focused on extending its season.