Rain, missed chances send DHS to loss
Demopolis (3-4) missed its opportunities early and had its last two chances washed away Tuesday when it lost to Jackson 2-1 in a weather-shortened contest.
“We haven’t been in a close ball game like this and it was a great opportunity for us to do the right things at the end of the ball game and come out with a win,” a disappointed Demopolis head coach Ben Ramer said following the game.
The Tigers trailed 2-1 in the top of the sixth inning when Chase Cameron appeared to have the side retired with a popup into foul territory along the right field line. A misplay by the Demopolis defense extended the inning as Cameron ultimately walked the Jackson batter. The senior hurler again had his team poised to get out of the inning when he induced a ground ball to the third baseman. However, the wet field conditions led to a misplay and put Aggie runners at first and second.
With two runners on, two outs and two strikes in the top of the sixth inning, a flash of lightning halted the game. After more than 20 minutes of waiting, the umpires allowed the players back on the field to warm up in preparation to resume play. Minutes later, the crew called the game, citing unplayable field conditions.
“We’ve got our numbers two, three and four (batters) coming out in the bottom of the sixth,” Ramer said. “It would have been a great opportunity for us to at least be in that situation. That is why you’ve got to get it done early, because you never know.”
While Demopolis did not get its opportunity in the sixth or seventh innings, it squandered chances in the third, fourth and fifth frames.
In both the third and fourth innings, the Tigers got the leadoff hitter aboard but never advanced the runner beyond first base.
“We had innings where we got the leadoff runner on and could not bunt him over to second base,” Ramer said.
The fifth inning saw Wesley Anderson rip a two-out double to right field. Ben Pettus followed with a grounder in the hole between the shortstop and third base. A diving play by the Jackson shortstop kept the ball on the infield and gave the Aggies a play when the Demopolis runner missed a stop sign thrown up by his third base coach. The weather played a factor again as the runner slipped while attempting to reverse his course and get back to third base. The Aggie third baseman applied the tag and nullified the last Demopolis threat.
“That’s the little things that are the difference in a close ball game against a good team,” Ramer said.
Pettus scored Demopolis only run of the game when he reached on a leadoff single in the first before crossing home on an Alex Sturdivant RBI base hit in the first inning. Pettus finished the day 2-for-3. Anderson went 2-for-2 with a double. Payne Hasty drew a walk in the contest.
Cameron worked an inning and two-thirds in relief, striking out three and allowing one walk. William Stewart started the contest on the mound for Demopolis, working four innings while allowing two hits, plunking two batters, walking one, giving up two runs and fanning three batters.
Demopolis will return to the field Friday when it hosts Bibb County just a week removed from losing 14-1 to the Choctaws.
“If we can come out and dow what we’re supposed to do, we feel like we’ve got a chance to win that ball game,” Ramer said.
The pivotal point for the Tigers over the next three days will be how it utilizes what is expected to be a rainy week of practice time.
“With the weather, we’ve got to be mature enough in situations like this to be able to get into the (batting) cage and do what we need to do,” Ramer said.