Demopolis beats Eufaula, moves to second round

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; In the continuation of Friday&8217;s rain-suspended game, Demopolis High relied on timely hitting to score the 7-2 victory over Eufaula, taking the series 2-0 and advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

The Tigers plated 16 runs in two games, overcoming the offensive woes that had pestered them most of the season. Perhaps most notable was the way in which Demopolis scored its runs.

When play resumed today, the Tigers pushed a 1-0 lead to 3-0 in the top of the third inning before back-to-back Eufaula doubles plated the visiting Tigers&8217; first run in the bottom half of the inning. With a runner on third and only one out, DHS starter Scott Cannon fanned Bill Hamrick and Desmond Thomas to squash the Eufaula threat.

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Cannon&8217;s next batch of trouble came in the bottom of the fourth when a single, a hit-batsman and a throwing error cut the lead to 3-2. The Tigers worked their way out of the inning when Jacob Kerby sprung toward a passed ball and flipped it to Cannon, who applied the tag at the plate for the third out.

Cannon found himself in another jam in the fifth inning when a single, a sacrifice and a wild pitch put the tying run 90 feet from home plate. With only one out in the inning, Cannon dug in and struck out the next two batters to put out yet another fire.

Demopolis gave Cannon a cushion with which to work in the top of the sixth. Kerby ripped a two-out single to left before Ben Pettus connected on his third double of the weekend to plate the catcher.

Cannon then came to the plate, helping his own cause by sending a double into left-center field to score Pettus and push the lead to 5-2.

The Tigers added two more runs in the seventh after Larry Dunn ignited a two-out rally by dropping down a bunt that surprised the Eufaula defense. Drew Waldrop followed with a single, stealing second on the ensuing series. After hitting the ball hard all day with little to show for it, Rob Rorie connected on a single, scoring Dunn and Waldrop.

While the lack of hitting leading up to the series was a concern for some, the defense also presented its share of question marks. A defensive unit that had committed several throwing errors in the games leading up to the playoffs was forced to make a change at a key position.

Following the broken jaw sustained by Dunn, the Tigers&8217; regular first baseman, Walter Hudgens was thrust into the defensive lineup.

The series win puts the DHS record at 14-16 on the season, setting the stage for a second-round match-up with a John Carroll squad that hung 20 runs on McAdory in two games to win its first round series. The Tigers will host that series beginning Friday. Game times have yet to be announced.