Not quite enough

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The West Alabama 15U team dropped its second game in as many days with Wednesday night&8217;s 15-11 loss to Central Alabama in the best-of-five series to determine the District 10 representative at the state tournament.

Behind the efforts of pitchers Bill Holeman and Thomas Cramer, the West Alabama squad carried a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning before the wheels came off.

A series of WA errors ignited a Central Alabama rally that allowed 11 runs to score in the frame before West Alabama recorded the second out. At inning&8217;s end, CA sent 17 men to the plate, scored 12 runs, grabbed a 14-4 lead and sat three outs away from beating WA by the 10-run rule.

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In the top of the fifth, West Alabama found itself down to its last strike with Holeman at the plate and the bases loaded. Holeman hit a ground ball and then hustled down the line, forcing a bad throw from the CA pitcher that ended up in right field. Collin Hall, Walker McNeill and Tyler Howerton scored on the play to extend the game as Holeman made it all the way to third base. Chase Smyly followed with a single to plate Holeman. Two batters later, Matthew Sellers doubled in Smyly and Matt Barger to cap off a six-run fifth inning in which WA sent 11 batters to the plate.

After the rally cut the game to 14-10, Holeman returned to the rubber to finish the game, allowing only one run over his final two innings of work. He pitched four innings combined on the night, striking out two and allowing only two runs while scoring two of his own and racking up three RBIs.

Howerton led the way offensively, scoring three runs in the game while Smyly, Barger, Hopkins, Hall, Pritchett and McNeill each scored one.

The teams will play again tonight at the Sports-Plex. A Central Alabama win clinches the series. Should West Alabama win, a second game will immediately follow to determine the series winner.