Demopolis falls 16-6 at home

Published 7:48 pm Friday, March 6, 2009

Demopolis (4-7) failed to overcome a nine-run Northridge third inning Thursday en route to a 16-6 home loss.

Northridge jumped on top early, getting two runs off a long ball.

“I thought we had a good opportunity to answer early in the game,” DHS head coach Ben Ramer said. “We have runners on second and third with no outs. We strike out three straight times. I thought that was a chance for us to show we can play with those guys.”

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After getting two innings from starting pitcher Jacob Kerby, Demopolis gave up nine runs in the third.

“We’re trying to combo our pitchers. We’ve got four games in three days,” Ramer said of a Thursday through Saturday stretch that will see the Tigers battle Northridge, Bibb County, Thomasville and Greenville. “We’ll take a step forward and we’ll do some positive things one game. Right now, we’re getting no carryover from one game to the next. We’re so inconsistent.”

Demopolis got on the board in the fourth inning when Larry Dunn led off the inning with a double before coming around to score on a Shelby Speegle single. Speegle advanced to third on a pair of dirt balls. William Hill walked and advanced as far as second before the the Tigers’ threat for a big inning was squelched.

Facing the threat of losing the game via the 10-run rule, Demopolis extended the game in the bottom of the fifth when Cameron Barger hit a homerun to left field, cutting the score to 11-2.

The Tigers threatened again in the sixth inning when Ben Pettus, Austin Holley and Hill each walked to start the inning. The next three Demopolis hitters went down in succession. Morgan LeCroy’s grounder to the first baseman produced the only run of the inning.

“We know it’s going to click some time,” Ramer said. “We just want it to be sooner rather than later.”

the DHS deficit jumped from eight runs to 13 runs in the sixth after three errors and timely Northridge hitting produced a five-run frame.

Demopolis fought back in the home half of the final inning when Kerby led off with a double. Dunn and Speegle then singled to load the bases. After Kerby scored on a wild pitch, Pettus and Holley each hit ground balls to the right side to pick up an RBI.

“The best thing we can do to help our pitchers is score runs,” Ramer said of the Demopolis struggles. “Hitting is contagious and we’re not catching it right now.”

Despite the loss, Ramer was encouraged by the pitching performances of Kerby and Pettus.

“I thought they did a great job,” Ramer said. “Jacob came back out in the second inning and looked real good. He’s had two good outings in the last two.”

If Demopolis is to be successful for the duration of the season, Ramer knows identifying and developing its pitchers will be essential.

“We’re looking for arms right now,” Ramer said. “We’ve got three or four guys right now we feel like give us a pretty good shot.”