Dadeville downs Tigers in quarterfinal opener
By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
It was a battle of big cats when the T.R. Miller Tigers hosted the Tigers of Dadeville Friday in the opening game of a Class 3A quarterfinal best-of-three set.
Dadeville (19-16), entering the game owning the Area-5 title, jumped on top of Area-1 champion Miller (19-8) in the first inning and continued battering the Tigers over the length of the contest. While holding Miller to only five hits, Dadeville pounded-out 14 total hits on the way to a 13-5 victory.
After Dadeville grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Miller let an opportunity slip by when they batted in the bottom half of the inning.
With two outs, the Tigers had the bases loaded and needed a hit to at least tie the game. But, Dadeville starting pitcher Jordy Steele, who allowed only three hits over five innings, delivered a groundout pitch that put an end to the Miller threat.
Dadeville padded its cushion in the top of the second inning. A base hit into centerfield began the rally that culminated with a run that followed another hit and Tiger throwing error.
Trailing 2-0 as they came to bat in the bottom of the second, the Tigers responded with a score that reduced the deficit down to a single run. Kurt Prater got things off to a good start by lacing a double to left centerfield. Prater then moved to third on a fielder's choice before a wild pitch allowed him to come home and cut Dadeville's lead to 2-1.
Dadeville answered Miller' threat to the lead with a run in the top of the third. A single was followed by an RBI double to right centerfield that regained the visitors' two-run lead, 3-1.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Dadeville broke the game open with a big top of the fifth inning. With two runners on base, an RBI single pushed the lead to 4-1. Another RBI single was followed by an RBI sacrifice fly that further escalated Dadeville's advantage, 6-1. Yet another RBI single to leftfield brought one more run home while making the score 7-1.
The Tiger batters were handcuffed in the bottom of the fifth before Dadeville completely put the game away with a sizzling top-of-the-sixth performance at the plate.
A two-run homer that upped the lead to 9-1 was a sign of things to come. Dadeville's batters produced four more base hits that pushed another four runs across the plate while placing Miller at a decisive 13-1 disadvantage.
The Tigers, however, proved they had no quit in them when they batted in the bottom half of the sixth. Eli Cook singled and later scored on a wild pitch. Brad Lannom's RBI single and Trent Davidson's two-RBI double were the other highlights of a four-run rally that pulled Miller a bit closer at 13-5.
The Dadeville batters were sat down in order in the top of the seventh, leaving the Tigers with one final chance to mount an unlikely comeback. However, the Dadeville pitcher recorded a 3-up, 3-down inning to end Miller's hopes and polish off the Dadeville win.
Offensive leaders for Miller were Ryan Holland, 1-for-2; Kurt Prater, 1-for-2; Brad Lannom, 1-for-3 with one RBI; Eli Cook, 1-for-3 and Trent Davidson, two RBIs.