Loss in finale costs Eagles winning mark on the field
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
When the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles baseball team took an 11-3 record into their March 30 game at T.R. Miller, little did they know 20 days later they would need a victory in their season finale just to salvage a winning record on the field.
That victory did not come. Neither did the winning on-the-field record after Monday's 6-1 loss to the visiting Bayside Acadmey Admirals.
W.S. Neal officially ended the season with a 13-11 record, but three of those 13 wins came by forfeits. The Blue Eagles dropped their final seven games and eight of their last nine.
"It's obviously a very disappointing way to end our season, W.S. Neal coach Coy Campbell said. "We had some noticeable trends during this slide. We made a lot of errors, we didn't score many runs and we usually fell behind early in games. I thought for the most part our pitchers threw pretty well during this stretch, but when you throw in the other factors it has made it really tough on them."
All three of the trends Campbell pointed out happened in Monday's game. The Blue Eagles had three errors, six wild pitches and a passed ball. They managed just four hits against Bayside Academy pitcher Rory Mathison and fell behind for good in the second inning.
The Admirals (18-7) touched W.S. Neal pitcher Brandon Douglas for their first run in the second inning through a single by Matt Akin, an error on the play, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Ray Mathsion.
That lead grew to 3-0 in the third inning when an infield error helped set up RBI singles by Michael Powell and Akin.
A hit batsman, an infield error, a wild pitch and an RBI single by Steve Carr made it 4-0 in the fourth inning.
The Admirals went up 6-0 in the fifth inning thanks to an RBI double by Marshall Maers and a wild pitch that allowed another run to score.
The Blue Eagles broke up the shutout in the bottom of the fifth inning when Buddy Ziglar blasted a solo homerun.
Ziglar was one of three W.S. Neal seniors along with Cody Anthony and Jonathan Qualls who closed out their high school careers Monday.
"We've got a lot of people back next year including all our pitchers. We need to work on our skills between now and next year and we've also got to find a way to get mentally tougher," Campbell said.
At W.S. Neal
Bayside A. 012 120 0 – 6 10 1
W.S. Neal 000 010 0 – 1 4 3
By Staff It came two days after an emotional Escambia County Tournament and two days before the start of postseason.... read more