WSN Eagle baseball team sees dream season end Saturday at Trinity with a 2-1 lossPublished 2:22pm Monday, May 13, 2013
After suffering their first loss of the season the day before in game two to the Trinity Wildcats, many wondered how the W.S. Neal Eagle baseball team would respond after the loss in a third and deciding game with the Wildcats Saturday with a berth in the class 3A state championship game on the line.
Leading 1-0 over the defending state champs after two innings and still leading 1-0 through four, it looked as if the Eagles of East Brewton had put Friday’s loss behind them and they were on their way to continue their dream season in the state finals.
But then, the Wildcats showed why they were the 3A state champions last year as they tied the game at 1-all in the fifth and then took the lead in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly to lead the Eagles 2-1 and push the Eagles to their final three outs of the season.
In the top of the seventh, down by one, the dream season for the Eagles looked like destiny as No. 8 hitter in the Eagle lineup, Taylor Elliott, reached first after being hit-by-pitch. Then, No. 9 hitter Miles Powell legged out a bunt single with a headfirst slide at first to put runners on first and second with no outs.
With the top of the lineup now up for the Eagles, leadoff batter Christian Purvis executed a perfect bunt down the third base line that weaved in and out barely but stayed in fair territory to give the Eagles the bases loaded with no outs.
With Eagle fans excited and on their feet screaming and clapping at what just happened and their Eagles having a chance to tie the game or take the lead, the unimaginable happened.
A fly out to left field…and one out. Then, an infield fly rule catch by third baseman made it two outs. Then, with Brian Settle at the plate and two outs in the inning, Settle hit the first pitch into shallow center field. Just when it looked as if the ball would drop, Trinity’s Chas Mitchell made a sliding catch to preserve the one-run victory and send the Wildcats back to the Class 3A championship series as they claimed a 2-1 win and eliminated the Eagles from the playoffs. The loss ended the Eagles’ season with a 30-2 record.
“It was just a great baseball game,” W.S. Neal head coach Coy Campbell said. “Both teams played their hearts out. The only difference is they executed when they had men on base and we didn’t. We had our opportunities today and we just could never get that big hit with runs in scoring position. Give credit to (Trinity). I guess that is why they are the defending state champs.”
As for the top of the seventh inning for his team, Campbell thought his team was going to pull out the win.
“You get the bases loaded and you have your two, three and four batters coming to the plate in (Jeremy) Myers, Damion (Williams) and (Brian) Settle,” Campbell said. “I couldn’t draw three names out of the hat better than that. Three seniors and they have done it all year. That is how funny the game of baseball is. We will take the loss and learn from and move on.”
Keith Bradley took the loss on the mound going 5 1/3 innings and allowed six hits, two runs, walked none and struck out five. Settle went the final 2/3 innings and allowed no runs and no hits and struck out none.
At the plate, Purvis, Williams, Cam Blackman and Miles Powell all had hits. Elliott had a single and the lone RBI while Dylan Godwin had a double.
The Eagles will be losing eight seniors off their 19-member team.
“I will surely miss these seniors, but this will not be our last time here,” Campbell said. “I can assure you of that. It was a great season and the seniors have put their stamp on our baseball program. Everybody knows who W.S. Neal is.”