Tigers split at Chilton County in important area test

Published 11:16 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

After picking up a win in Game 1 of the series Tuesday, Demopolis (9-16,3-1) landed a must-win 5-3 victory in the front end of a double-header against Chilton Friday night.

The visiting Tigers used timely hitting and a strong performance from pitcher Shelby Speegle to get the win.

“He did an excellent job. (Tuesday’s starter) Trey Oates and Shelby Speegle have been huge,” DHS head coach Ben Ramer said. “I thought Shelby got better as the game went on. We couldn’t ask any more out of (Speegle) than what he gave us right there.”

“We’ve struggled at the plate for a long time,” Speegle said. “Coming out tonight and getting 13 hits and scoring five runs, that just makes it easier.”

For Demopolis, who has frequently struggled at the plate on the year, much of the offense came from a recently streaking hitter and a rarely-utilized

source.

“We’ve gone all year where people have had opportunities to get spots and nobody’s taken them,” Ramer said. “Will Hill is coming on. He’s solidifying the lineup for us. Hunter Wells had a dang good day.” Hill went 2-for-4 with a double and run in the game while Wells went 3-for-4 with a double.

“I’m just seeing the ball well right now,” Hill said. “Whenever I got my chance, I just had to come through. Now that I am coming through, I just have to stay consistent.”

“I felt great up there,” Wells, who was battling illness, said. “I felt comfortable. I saw my opportunity. I just had to produce. I had to get base hits and help my team out.”

Larry Dunn went 1-for-1 with two runs scored. Jacob Kerby went 1-for-3 with a run. Chase Cameron went 1-for-4 with a run.

The loss puts Chilton County in third place in the area behind Demopolis and Carver-Montgomery, who played Selma on Friday. Only the top two teams in each area advance to the state playoffs.

The second game of the double-dip served only for tie-breaker purposes. In that contest, Demopolis fell 5-0. Dunn went 2-for-3 while Kerby went 1-for-3 for the only DHS hits of the game.

“Everything we want to do is in our hands,” Ramer said of the team’s impending series with Selma next week. Should the Tigers take the first two games against the Saints, they will clinch a playoff spot. If DHS wins its first two against Selma and Chilton earns at least a split against Carver, Demopolis wins the area and hosts its first-round playoff series.

Stephen Dawkins of The Clanton Advertiser contributed to this report.