Eagles pick up win over Whippets
By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
A loss to the Flomaton Hurricanes added to the mild early-season slump W.S. Neal was experiencing, before the Blue Eagles rebounded with a win over Frisco City.
With a win and a loss in their last two outings, the Blue Eagles' record stands at 5-3.
Flomaton 9, Neal 6
In a March 18 matchup on the road against the Flomaton Hurricanes, the Blue Eagles fell behind by a big margin before mounting a final-inning rally that fell short.
Both teams' pitching and defense dominated the action of the first two innings.
In the third inning, the Hurricanes took advantage of Neal's multiple defensive miscues to grab the lead. Two walks and an error allowed Flomaton to load the bases before a single moved one run home. A wild pitch was responsible for another run crossing the plate before two more passed balls contributed to the damage and gave the Hurricanes a 4-0 advantage.
While the Blue Eagles struggled at the plate in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, the Hurricanes added to their leading total in the bottom of the fifth.
Two Blue Eagle errors and a walk loaded the bases before a passed ball and walk moved two runs in. An error led to another run before a two-RBI single made the Flomaton lead 9-0.
As the Blue Eagles came to bat in the top half of the seventh and final inning, they faced a seemingly insurmountable deficit. But, a final-inning offensive frenzy made things too close for comfort for the Hurricanes.
Brandon Douglas and Patrick Sorrells each drew walks to start the rally, and then Chad McCall's single loaded the bases. Two consecutive walks followed and allowed Douglas and Sorrells to move across the plate. Cody Anthony then came through with a two-RBI single that cut the Flomaton lead down to 9-4. Paul Crabtree kept the rally going with an RBI single before Brad Jerkins' base hit scored another run and made the score 9-6.
The comeback attempt ended, however, with runners on first and second bases and the tying run at the plate.
Paul Crabtree went 2-for-3 with one RBI to lead the Blue Eagles' offense.
Neal 3, Frisco City 1
As the Blue Eagles returned home for a March 20 meeting with the Frisco City Whippets, they needed a win to reverse the negative momentum resulting from three consecutive losses.
In the top of the first, one pitch from Chad McCall was all that was needed to secure the first Frisco City out, but then the second batter produced a base hit into right field before Brandon Douglas nailed him at second base as he attempted to stretch the single into a double. McCall then struck-out the next batter to end the Whippets' half of the inning.
Without recording a base hit in their half of the first, the Blue Eagles scored a run to take the lead. Cody Anthony walked before stealing second base. Neal then loaded the bases following a walk drawn by Paul Crabtree and Brad Jerkins reaching after being hit by a pitch. Anthony crossed home plate later in the inning on an infield error for a 1-0 Blue Eagle lead.
While McCall continued his mastery of the Frisco City offense, the Blue Eagle batters were being handcuffed by the Frisco City pitcher over the next couple of innings. As Neal came to bat in the bottom of the fourth, the score remained unchanged at 1-0. The Blue Eagles then took advantage of Frisco City errors to add a run that upped their lead to 2-0.
A final Neal score occurred in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs and nobody on base, Jeffrey Coleman drew a walk before Derek Smith came to the plate and smashed a double that scored Coleman and placed the Blue Eagles out front, 3-0.
The Whippets manufactured a lone run in the top of the seventh, but McCall and the Neal defense remained in control while putting the finishing touches on the 3-1 Neal victory.
McCall pitched seven complete innings in earning the win, allowing three hits and recording 11 strikeouts.
Derek Smith led the Neal batters by going 1-for-1 with one RBI.