Tigers get in win column

Published 8:28 pm Friday, February 25, 2011

Demopolis (1-2) got in the win column for the first time in 2011 Thursday with a 4-0 victory over visiting Sweet Water (1-2).

Demopolis mounted the only offense of the contest in the bottom of the third inning with a four-run rally.

When Sweet Water walked the bases loaded with one out, Demopolis junior Kole Thrasher smoked a grounder to shortstop. An error on the part of the Sweet Water shortstop allowed a second run to score on the play, putting Demopolis up 2-0. Sophomore Payne Hasty followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center to plate senior Ben Pettus and stretch the lead to 3-0.

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The final run of the game came moments later when Alex Sturdivant accounted for the Tigers’ lone hit, a single that scored Thrasher.

Demopolis saw Pettus, Thrasher, Hasty, Taylor Polk, Allen Tucker and Daniel Sturdivant each draw walks in the game to account for the majority of the Tigers’ offense.

“We can’t rely on walks. If you do that, you’re counting on the other team to miss the strike zone,” Demopolis head coach Ben Ramer said of his team’s need to improve its offense as it moves forward in the season.

Polk set the tone early for the Tiger pitching staff, working three innings of no-hit, one-walk baseball while striking out four Bulldog batters. He gave way to Daniel Sturdivant for an inning before the ball went to Thrasher for two frames. Pettus closed the game out in the seventh, stranding the one baserunner he allowed.

“We’ve got a lot of experience on the mound,” Ramer said of one of the team’s strengths. “We’ve got a lot of arms and kids that can throw it across the plate and give us a chance.”

Aside from its offensive struggles, Sweet Water’s greatest obstacle Thursday was its inability to find the strike zone.

Linc Luker worked the first three innings of the game, surrendering one hit in the process.

“He’s really around a 45 to 60 pitch count,” Sweet Water head coach Kevin Byrd said of Luker, who is working to rebuild his arm strength after having missed a great deal of practice time while playing on the school’s basketball team.

B.J. Cade relieved Luker, turning in three innings of scoreless work to keep the game close.

“He came in and pumped strikes,” Byrd said. “That’s what we need our relievers to do.”

The Bulldogs got three hits in the contest as Michael Thompson went 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a stolen base. Brett Davis and Dylan Sager each went 1-for-3 while Laderious Dumas walked.

“Next week being an off week will help us tremendously,” Byrd said.