Warhawks fall to Wallace-Dothan
By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
The Wallace-Dothan Governors brought an impressive record as well as an abundance of offensive firepower along when they visited the Jefferson Davis Warhawks for a March 5 conference twin bill.
Although the Warhawks had enjoyed recent success and were confident of matching up well against the visitors, Wallace-Dothan (27-8) displayed the type offensive production that proved to be difficult to hold in check. The Governors powered three homers in the two games contested while scoring 21 runs and returning home with a sweep.
The two losses dropped JDCC to 12-20 on the season and 4-7 against conference competition.
Both teams began the opening game with big first innings before settling into a contest that remained in question until the end.
After the Governors battled to get two baserunners on in the top of the first, a two-out home run over the left centerfield fence place them on top, 3-0.
The Warhawks came right back swinging the bats freely in the bottom half of the inning. A Leon Brasington walk to begin the inning was followed by a Steven Walls double. Steven Cadenhead followed with a two-RBI base hit that pulled JDCC with a run, 3-2. The Warhawks'' bats continued to heat up as RBI hits by Bo Keahey and Clint Howard accounted for two more runs and a 4-3 JDCC lead.
The second inning was scoreless, but then the Governors regained a 5-4 advantage with two more runs in the top of the third.
Neither the Warhawks nor Governors mounted any significant offensive threats over the next three innings, sending the two teams into the seventh and final inning with no change in the score.
Another Wallace-Dothan three-run homer, though, quickly placed the visitors in possession of a seemingly comfortable 8-4 lead as the Warhawks came to bat in the bottom of the seventh.
A furious final-inning JDCC rally put a scare into the Governors. Josh Padgett drew a walk to begin the inning before Walls' double drove him home and cut the deficit to 8-5. Walls then crossed the plate on Cadenhead's single to further cut the lead down to 8-6. However, the Warhawks failed to move any more runners home and exited the opener on the short end of an 8-6 decision.
Leaders at the plate for the Warhawks were Steven Cadenhead, 3-for-4 with two RBIs; Steven Walls, 2-for-4 with one RBI and Bo Keahey, 1-for-3 with one RBI.
Even though the opener provided plenty of offensive production, it paled in comparison to the slugfest that took place in the nightcap.
Wallace-Dothan repeated its pattern of establishing an early advantage by moving four runs across the plate in the first inning before adding three more in the second for a commanding 7-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the second, the Warhawks took advantage of a Governors' error and wild pitch to score one run that cut the deficit to 7-1. However, Wallace-Dothan kept the bats warm in the top of the third by moving three more runners across the plate while padding the cushion to 10-1.
JDCC began to make a move in the bottom of the fourth inning. After loading the bases, singles by Blair Mercer, Josh Hasty and Steven Cadenhead pushed three runs home and reduced the Governors lead to 10-4.
The Governors managed a lone run in the top of the sixth that tightened their grasp on the lead at 11-4, but then the Warhawks answered with an offensive surge that place them squarely back in the game.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, it appeared JDCC's hopes for a win were about to expire when the Warhawks went on a rampage. After Hasty reached on a bunt, Jack Schwartz stepped to the forefront with a two-run home run that cut into the lead, 11-6. Leon Brasington followed Schwartz's blast with a walk before Clint Howard sent a pitch over the fence for another two-run shot that pulled JDCC within three, 11-8.
As Wallace-Dothan came to bat in the final inning, the Warhawks were aware their chances of a comeback largely depended on preventing the Governors' offense from inflicting more damage. But, the visitors showed they would not be denied by powering a two-run homer that upped the lead to 13-8 as the Warhawks prepared for their final opportunity at the plate.
With only one chance remaining, JDCC mounted a determined last-ditch rally in an attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Taking advantage of a couple of walks and a Hasty single, the Warhawks pushed a run home that made the score 13-9. Then, a single delivered by Brasington allowed two more runners home while pulling JDCC even closer at 13-11. But, the Governors' defense righted the ship and gained Wallace-Dothan the sweep after allowing no more Warhawks across the plate.
Offensive leaders for the Warhawks were Jack Schwartz, 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs; Josh Hasty, 3-for-5 with one RBI; Clint Howard, 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs and Blair Mercer, 1-for-2.