Demopolis varsity beats Paul Bryant

Published 10:32 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Demopolis (4-6) used timely hitting to beat 6A Paul Bryant High 10-4 Tuesday night.

“I was glad to see it,” DHS head coach Ben Ramer said. “We’ve been struggling at the plate big time.”

After spotting the Bears an early 1-0 lead, Demopolis rallied in the home half of the fourth inning. Jacob Kerby laced a single up the middle before Cameron Barger drew a walk. Morgan LeCroy got Demopolis on the board when he ripped a single to right field that scored Tyler Howerton, who pinch ran for Kerby.

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“Morgan’s been struggling with some confidence,” Ramer said. “I was so glad to see him get a big hit right there and get us going. It was good it happened for us, but it was good it happened to him. He needed it and we needed it.”

Two batters later, Austin Holley was struck by a pitch, plating Barger. The big blow of the inning came off the bat of Shelby Speegle, who roped a double that scored Holley and Kole Thrasher. Ben Pettus followed with a single that scored Demetrius Charleston, who ran for Speegle.

The Tigers used four hits to score six runs in the inning, taking a 6-1 lead.

“We just got those big hits,” Ramer said. “That’s something we’ve been lacking big time.”

After Paul Bryant closed the gap to 6-4 with a three-run fifth, Demopolis struck again.

Thrasher hustled down the line on a routine ground ball, forcing an inducing an errant throw from the PBHS shortstop and sparking a two-out rally.

“Starting a freshman, especially at this level, you expect him to make all kind of mistakes,” Ramer said. “Kole Thrasher, one thing you know you’re always going to get out of him is 100 percent effort.”

Holley and Larry Dunn each drew walks to load the bases, setting the stage again for Speegle. Hitting out of the cleanup spot, Speegle upped his RBI total on the night to five when he stroked a three-run double to left-center, putting Demopolis up 9-4.

“His hits were big,” Ramer said of Speegle. “Shelby Speegle’s going to have to be big for us. We know that and he knows that. We don’t expect anything less out of him.”

Demopolis added one more run in the bottom of the sixth when Kerby led off the inning with an infield single. Howerton again pinch ran for the catcher, eventually scoring on a passed ball.

Speegle started the game on the mound, pitching four and two-thirds innings while striking out eight and picking up the win.

Demopolis plays again Thursday night when it hosts Northridge.