Miller sweeps through county tournament
By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
The T.R. Miller Tigers went undefeated through the Escambia County Baseball Tournament earning the championship.
The Tigers clobbered the other schools in the tournament. In the first round they handed W.S. Neal a 21-5 defeat. They shutout Flomaton 10-0 and finished off the tournament defeating Escambia County, 24-2.
In the two teams' third meeting of the season, the T.R. Miller Tigers upped their record to 3-0 against the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles with a dominating win in the opening round of the tournament held in Atmore.
The Tigers sent a message that they came to swing the bats with two first-inning home runs. Finishing the game with 18 total hits, Miller consistently pounded the ball while scoring runs in droves over the course of the contest.
The Tigers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning off solo home runs by Brad Lannom and Trent Davidson.
After Miller starting pitcher Kurt Prater shut down the Neal offense in the bottom half of the first, an RBI single delivered by Eli Cook in the top of the second pushed the Tiger advantage to 3-0.
Not content to sit on the lead, Miller broke the game open in the top half of the third. Five base hits led to six more runs while escalating the lead to a commanding level, 9-0.
While Prater and the Miller defense continued holding the Blue Eagle offense in check, a big top of the fourth inning rally enabled the Tigers to further strengthen their position. Following a walk and a Davidson single, Randy Holland came through with an RBI single before Cook produced a two-RBI single that padded Miller's cushion to a comfortable 12-0.
Jared Cooper and Spencer Williamson each singled in Neal's bottom half of the fourth to account for a Blue Eagle run that made the score 12-1. Then, Cory Freeman and Paul Crabtree each delivered two-RBI doubles in the fifth inning that allowed the Blue Eagles to further reduce the deficit to 12-5.
In the top half of the sixth, the Tigers put the game away with nine runs on six base hits. Holland got things off to a good start with a double before three straight walks allowed one run across the plate. Four straight hits followed that pushed six more runners home, and then a two-RBI double by James Martin finished the inning while increasing the Tiger lead out to 21-5.
After Prater put the wraps on the Blue Eagle offense in the bottom of the sixth, the game was called due to the 10-run rule.
Prater went the distance in earning the win, allowing eight hits and striking-out six.
Offensive leaders for Miller were Randy Holland, 3-for-4 with four RBIs; Brad Lannom, 3-for-4 with a home run; Trent Davidson, 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs; and Eli Cook, 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Leaders at the plate for Neal were Keith Woods, 1-for-1; Cory Freeman, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Paul Crabtree, 1-for-2 with two RBIs and Jeffrey Coleman, 2-for-3.