Eagles divide twinbill
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
For most of this season, the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles baseball team has won games with their offense.
On a day where its offense was held in check, W.S. Neal had to rely on other parts of its game to earn a split in a three-team doubleheader at Florala Thursday.
The Blue Eagles notched a 5-4 win over the Red Level Tigers in the opener before they a dropped a 3-1 decision to the Florala Wildcats in the nightcap.
In a game that went back
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and forth, W.S. Neal beat Red level in bizarre fashion.
After the Tigers tied the game at 4-4 with a run in the top of the seventh inning, W.S. Neal's Chad McCall struck out to start the bottom half of the inning. However, McCall reached safely on a pssed ball. Courtesy runner Jake Bailey was later able to score the winning run through a bases loaded walk.
W.S. Neal had struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Justin Smith reached on an error, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Daniel Hodge.
After Red Level scored a couple of unearned runs in the top of the second inning, W.S. Neal pulled even again at 2-2 with a run in the bottom of the second off errors on balls hit by Brandon Douglas and Cody Anthony.
Red Level took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning, but Cory Freeman and Jonathan Qualls scored in the sixth inning to put the Blue Eagles back in front 4-3.
Red Level forced another deadlock in the top of the seventh inning when Kyle Adams' sacrifice fly scored Devin Maloy that made it 4-4 and set up the strange finish in the bottom half of the inning.
Oddly, McCall's seventh inning strikeout that produced the winning run gave himself the victory on the mound.
In game two, the Blue Eagles wasted a strong pitching performance by Brandon Douglas in the loss to Florala.
Douglas allowed just three hits and no walks to go along with 10 strikeouts, but lost a tough pitcher's duel to Florala's Dusty McConell.
McConnell helped himself with an RBI single that gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
It stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Wildcats picked up two runs courtesy of a wild pitch and a fielder's choice.
W.S. Neal chased McConnell from the mound after its first two runners reached base in the top of the seventh inning. While one of those runners, Buddy Ziglar scored to break up the shutout, Florala reliever Marcus Scofield got the final three outs to preseve the Wildcats' win.
W.S. Neal vsits J.F. Shields Monday for a 3:30 p.m. game.