Demopolis outlasts Eufaula in game one

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; In a game that was expected to be a pitchers&8217; duel, Demopolis outscored Eufaula 9-6 to take a 1-0 lead in its first round playoff series. Game two was suspended by rain.

The Tigers, whose bats have proven inconsistent all year long, started their hit parade early. Scott Cannon and Shelby Speegle led off with back-to-back singles in the bottom of the first inning. Consecutive fielder&8217;s choice plays created by Larry Dunn and Palmer O&8217;Neal plated two runs. Jacob Kerby followed with a 2-RBI single before Ben Pettus doubled to score Kerby and Rob Rorie, giving DHS a 6-0 lead at the end of the first.

The Tigers held firm to the lead until the top of the fifth when Eufaula shortstop Bill Hamrick stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. Hamrick jumped on the first Speegle offering he saw, sending it into the trees that stand beyond the left field fence.

Speegle then continued to be erratic, plunking his second batter of the inning, his counterpart Desmond Thomas. A single by the Eufaula third baseman plated Thomas, chased Speegle and cut the score to 6-5.

In a tight spot, Tiger reliever Cameron Barger came up big. The sophomore coaxed a two-out, full-count, bases loaded strikeout to end the fifth and preserve the lead.

The Tigers rebounded in the home half of the fifth inning. O&8217;Neal worked his way into a two-out walk before Dunn ripped a double into left-center field to push the lead to 7-5. Drew Waldrop then hit what appeared to be a routine ground ball to short. However, an errant throw by Hamrick allowed Dunn to score, sending Waldrop to second. Rorie followed with an infield hit before Thomas buckled down and induced a groundout from Kerby to end the inning.

The Tigers added its final run in the bottom of the sixth when Cannon singled and stole second before being brought in by a Speegle double.

Speegle ripped another double in the top of the first inning of game two, coming around to score on an O&8217;Neal single. The Tigers held the 1-0 lead in the middle of the second inning when rain suspended play.

Cannon started game two for the Tigers and figures to retake the mound when play resumes today at 10:30 a.m.

If needed, the Tigers will play game three immediately following.